UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson Reveals Shocking Earnings

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UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson Reveals Shocking Earnings

The monetary compensation of UFC fighters has long been a contentious issue, with many fighters and industry experts alike criticizing the organization for its lack of financial generosity. One such fighter, Francis Ngannou, recently made headlines when he left the UFC due to dissatisfaction with his pay.

Now, another notable fighter, Demetrious Johnson, has come forward to reveal the startlingly low amounts he earned during his time as a champion in the UFC.

Underpaid and Undervalued: The Plight of a UFC Champion

Despite being the first-ever UFC flyweight champion and widely considered one of the best fighters in the sport, Johnson's paychecks for his fights were nothing short of shameful.

In a recent video posted on his YouTube channel, the fighter detailed his earning history within the organization: "When I fought Dominick Cruz [for the bantamweight title] I was under contract, I was fighting for $14,000 [to show] and $14,000 [to win],” Johnson explained.

“I lost to Cruz, so I made 14K. Then I was about fight Eddie Wineland and that didn’t go through so I fought Ian McCall in Australia, and I was on the same contract. Then, I got a new contract when I fought Ian McCall for the second time, I think I got bumped up to $20,000 and $20,000”.

Johnson went on to reveal that even as he became champion and defended his title multiple times, his earnings remained relatively stagnant, with incremental increases that barely kept pace with inflation. He also highlighted the lack of opportunities for fighters to earn money through pay-per-view points, a significant source of income for top-performing fighters.

"I finally got a new contract as champion, and I think it was $125,000 and $50,000, but I couldn’t get pay-per-view points. That’s where a champion makes the most bang for their buck, the pay-per-view points. Because if you get on a card with Conor McGregor and he does 2.1 million buys, you just do the f****** math.

You’re going to make a s***load of money. I never got the opportunity to do that." The organization's reputation for underpaying its fighters is not new, but it is disheartening to see a champion of Johnson's caliber earning such paltry sums.

His move to ONE was a step towards a more equitable future, and it remains to be seen if the UFC will take note and make changes to its pay structure.