UFC flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson is hailed as one of the greatest fighters on the planet today. With a superb 11-fight win streak that has seen him defend his flyweight title nine times over the past four years, Johnson currently sits atop the UFC’s official pound for pound rankings.
With that being said, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley believes that Demetrious Johnson doesn’t get the push he deserves because of race.
He spoke on an ESPN appearance:
“Some people say it’s a racist sport. They second I bring up race, I’m immediately ‘race baiting’, but I can point out clear facts that no other champion has been treated like me.
“I’m not saying they’re supporting him more (because he’s white), but he sure as heck has fans that cross the line quite a bit — which is not his fault, I’m not saying it’s his fault. Let’s get that clear — But let’s put the cards on the table, real is real. If I was a different complexion, people and fans would treat me a different way.”
“Who’s the pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now? Demetrious Johnson. African-American male, complete Tasmanian Devil. Why isn’t he getting the big endorsements? Why isn’t he making the most money? What’s the difference?
“Think about it. The second Jon Jones slipped on a banana peel — granted he’s his own worst enemy — but they can’t wait to throw him underneath the bus. People of different races are given several chances.”
“I’m by far the worst treated champion in history of the UFC. Blatantly facts,” Tyron said. “There’s no “think”, it’s complete fact.”
Woodley of course isn’t pleased with how he was promoted as a champion leading up to his UFC 205 scrap with Thompson, where he was the betting underdog in the fight. Leading up to the pair’s highly anticipated rematch at UFC 209 on March 4th, Woodley is once again the underdog despite being the 170 pound champion.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/19/2017.