Malki Kawa explains how the issues between Demetrious Johnson and Dana White have apparently been settled.
The UFC’s flyweight champion has had some major issues with the president of the organization lately, but according to Demetrious Johnson’s manager, it’s all good now. Or it’s getting there, at least. As a recent guest on The MMA Hour, Johnson’s manager Malki Kawa described a meeting between Mighty Mouse and Dana White, saying things are improving (via MMA Fighting):
“It went well. DJ fights on September 9th against Ray Borg, he’ll break the record (for title defenses) and then we’ll move onto something else and try to get him into some big fights. We’re going to make the right moves for DJ and help DJ reach the goals that he wants to reach.”
In recent months, Johnson and White have frequently exchanged words. Johnson was not receptive to a fight with T.J. Dillashaw, despite the UFC pushing it on him and White even mocking Johnson for not taking it. He accused White of threatening to shut down his entire division. Dana denied that and fired back, saying DJ can fight Borg but he should expect low PPV numbers. White even went as far as to say Johnson wasn’t the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter (this was before Jon Jones returned).
Apparently though, that’s water under the bridge.
“Yeah, they buried the hatchet,” he said. “Dana told DJ how he felt about some stuff and DJ told Dana how he felt about some stuff. They buried the hatchet.
“There was a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication. There were are a lot of different parties involved, I thought I would bring the two of them together and get this thing right.
“It worked well. I’m expecting this to work out in DJ’s favor in the long run. I think he will be very happy and I think UFC will be very happy with him.”
He did seem to indicate that not everything is figured out though:
“After the fight we’ll see, we’ll sit down and talk. The truth is that there are a lot of things involved, it’s not just a matter of us getting a new contract. DJ’s got some fights left on his contract now and there are a lot of things we need to work through. I think we need to win this fight and then we’ll be able to sit down and talk to somebody. Like I said, it’s big to get them back talking together.”
That uncertainly could be in reference to the longstanding rumors that the promotion is still interested in ridding itself of the flyweight division, but who knows. That is certainly only a rumor at this point.
Regardless, it looks like the two men are close to on the same page again. UFC 215 goes down in Edmonton on September 9th.