Over the last few weeks, UFC President Dana White has had some harsh criticism of flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, blasting the champ for campaigning for a fight with Ray Borg over one with TJ Dillashaw.
During a recent conversation with MMAJunkie.com, White said that he has conceded defeat on the issue, and that Johnson can fight Borg if he wants. That said, the boss isn’t happy with the flyweight champ.
“You want Ray Borg, we’ll give you Ray Borg,” White said. “I’m sure the fans will be clamoring, and ticket sales will be through the roof and pay-per-views will be off the charts,” he continued sarcastically.
“I’m not thrilled with Demetrious Johnson. You’re the pound-for-pound best in the world, T.J. Dillashaw challenges you – one of the best in the world, former world champion – and you flat out deny the fight, flat out say, ‘I won’t do it. I want Ray Borg.’
“Who wouldn’t want to see Demetrious Johnson vs. T.J. Dillashaw? Dillashaw calling me every day: ‘I’m cutting weight. I’m cutting weight. I’m dieting. I’m training. I’m cutting weight. Do I got the fight? Do I got the fight?’ Ask T.J. Dillashaw next time you see him or you interview him. Calling me every day, chomping at the bit for the fight. You expect the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world to go, ‘Let’s do it.’”
White then clarified some of his previous comments about the flyweight division – including a purported threat to close it – which he says were blown out of proportion.
“What I said to him was, ‘A couple of years ago, we were actually talking about getting rid of the division,’” White said of a conversation he had with the champ. “There was never a threat to him, ‘Oh, we’re going to get rid of the division. That was complete bull(expletive), and 90 percent of what he came out and said was complete bull(expletive). Never did I say to him, ‘Hey, if you don’t do this, we’re going to get rid of your division.’ What I said to him was, ‘A couple of years ago, we were talking.’
“I built an ‘Ultimate Fighter’ around you to try and build you. He said he hasn’t been promoted. Who has defended that weight division more than me? I mean, I used to stand up in front of (the media) at the press conference going, ‘This kid is amazing. He’s unbelievable. He’s this. He’s that,’ which he is. I’m not saying he’s not. But we’re in a spot now where you had the opportunity to really get out there. T.J. Dillashaw called you out. He’s one of the best in the world, and he’s a former world champion. Many people thought he won the fight against (Dominick) Cruz. And you flat out say, ‘I don’t want to fight this guy. I want this guy, I want to fight the No. 5 or No. 6 guy instead.”
What do you think of Dana White’s comments on Demetrious Johnson?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/29/2017.