The topic of fighter pay is one that has long been discussed by fighters, and has continued to see the UFC receive criticism from fighters who feel as though the promotion doesn’t fairly compensate their fighters.
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is arguably the most dominant fighter on the UFC roster, going undefeated since his 2011 loss to Dominick Cruz, which to this day remains the only UFC loss on his record. This weekend, Johnson will look to tie UFC legend Anderson Silva’s record for most successful UFC title defenses when he faces Wilson Reis in a highly anticipated ‘UFC on FOX’ showdown.
Ahead of that fight, Johnson spoke to Fox Sports to discuss why he feels the UFC needs to pay their fighters more:
“I think once UFC shifts gears and starts paying the champions where it’s, ‘Hey you’re the champion you’ve defended your belt five times, we’re going to keep giving you extensive bonuses because we want to market a champion who stays a champion for a very, very long time and separate themselves from the class.’ If they put that person on that pedestal like this is an elite athlete,”
“For me, I’m a champion, I’m going on my tenth title defense, so they need to start compensating guys more that way for being a nine-time, 10-time, 11-time [champion] instead of just, ‘Hey you lost two fights ago, but we’re going to give you $10.6 million; however, it does make sense because [Conor] did bring in the numbers so it kind of goes hand-in-hand.”
Should Demetrious Johnson once again emerge victorious this weekend, he could very well face a difficult test in his next fight, where he can potentially set the record for most title defenses by a UFC champion.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/13/2017.