“UFC, if you want Demetrious Johnson to fight TJ Dillashaw, give him the money,” Cormier said on UFC Tonight. “Pay him a million dollars and say ‘that’s your fight.’ I know it’s a lot for a 125-pounder, but the guy’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Pay him the money, and then let him go fight. Pay him as the No. 1 fighter in the world for once.”
Though Missouri didn’t reveal Johnson’s pay for his most recent title defense against Wilson Reis, the flyweight champion’s disclosed payday for headlining The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale against Tim Elliott was $350,000 with no win bonus.
That’s a far cry from the million-dollar payday that Cormier believes Johnson deserves, but it’s difficult to argue that he shouldn’t get a boost to his bottom line. Johnson is the only man to hold the UFC flyweight championship and has defended the belt 10 times, which is a record that he shares with Anderson Silva.
“I think the responsibility for everything can be shared between Demetrious and the UFC. The UFC really doesn’t understand how to market him, because they have to get creative. He’s smaller. He’s not the biggest guy. He’s dominant. Even when Anderson Silva was the guy running through his division, his points weren’t very high, so they have to get creative. I don’t know if they’ve gotten creative. But I do believe DJ has done his part,” said Cormier.
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“Ronda Rousey happened organically. It just has to connect. It hasn’t connected for DJ. UFC has to take responsibility because they don’t know how to market him properly yet.”
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