Brett Johns releases statement after leaving the UFC and signing with Bellator

Brett-Johns
Image via @BrettJohnsMMA

Former UFC bantamweight contender Brett Johns has released a statement after leaving the Octagon and signing as a free agent with Bellator.

Johns (17-2) was one of the top young bantamweight contenders in the UFC, but he has decided to move on after accepting a better contract offer from Bellator. The 28-year-old Wales native and former Titan FC champion officially announced the move on Friday via his social media accounts, where he explained why he decided to leave the UFC for Bellator.

View this post on Instagram

Right where do I start, firstly I would like to thank the @ufc and all the staff for the last 4 years in the organisation from the @ufcpi team to the fight week staff always taking care of me and my team. Thanks to @danawhite for the opportunity memories that will last a lifetime. I have decided to take a different road in my career, as fighters our health is put on the line every time we sign on the dotted line and I’m okay with that. But I’m here to get paid what I believe Is fair. My last bout was the final on my 2nd contact with the ufc. I accepted a bout for November 7th in Las Vegas against a tough (15-1) opponent, If you’ve followed my career you’ll know I’ll fight any man on the planet. But we couldn’t agree on a figure that was right for both parties on the new contract. 7 fights, 5 wins and 2 losses to the top guys in the division, once ranked 13th, 2nd calf slicer in the ufcs history and currently on a 2 fight win streak to up and coming prospects is valued differently between us. And that’s just business nothing personal it’s never personal in my eyes, I wish the @ufc all the best in the future. A different offer was made an offer that I couldn’t turn down an one I believe I deserve. I’m grateful that it was made and I’m excited to put my skills on show for another worldwide organisation. That’s that for now still training the same way, still aims of adding another world championship to the CV with the welsh flag over my shoulders. I’ll always be in the history books first welsh fighter to fight in the UFC. Over and out The Pikey

A post shared by Brett Johns (@brettjohnsmma) on

Right where do I start, firstly I would like to thank the @ufc and all the staff for the last 4 years in the organisation from the @ufcpi team to the fight week staff always taking care of me and my team. Thanks to @danawhite for the opportunity memories that will last a lifetime. I have decided to take a different road in my career, as fighters our health is put on the line every time we sign on the dotted line and I’m okay with that. But I’m here to get paid what I believe Is fair. My last bout was the final on my 2nd contact with the ufc. I accepted a bout for November 7th in Las Vegas against a tough (15-1) opponent, If you’ve followed my career you’ll know I’ll fight any man on the planet. But we couldn’t agree on a figure that was right for both parties on the new contract. 7 fights, 5 wins and 2 losses to the top guys in the division, once ranked 13th, 2nd calf slicer in the ufcs history and currently on a 2 fight win streak to up and coming prospects is valued differently between us. And that’s just business nothing personal it’s never personal in my eyes, I wish the @ufc all the best in the future. A different offer was made an offer that I couldn’t turn down an one I believe I deserve. I’m grateful that it was made and I’m excited to put my skills on show for another worldwide organisation. That’s that for now still training the same way, still aims of adding another world championship to the CV with the welsh flag over my shoulders. I’ll always be in the history books first welsh fighter to fight in the UFC. Over and out The Pikey

As Brett Johns makes very clear in his statement, leaving the UFC for Bellator was purely a financial decision for the youngster. Although he was prepared to fight for the UFC against a tough opponent in November, once Bellator made what he said was a better offer, he couldn’t turn it down, and you can’t blame him. In the current financial climate of the coronavirus pandemic, signing this deal with Bellator was important to him.

It’s worth noting that Johns said the UFC wanted him to fight a 15-1 fighter for his next fight. Looking at the UFC bantamweight roster, two fighters have that identical record: champion Petr Yan and Raoni Barcelos. With Yan set to fight Aljamain Sterling, it’s fair to say that Johns would have fought Barcelos had he stayed in the UFC. Instead, he heads to Bellator where he immediately becomes a potential opponent for champion Juan Archuleta.

How do you think Brett Johns will fare in Bellator?