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Dana White Defends Demetrious Johnson’s Pay-Per-View Drawing Power

Written by Tom Ngo
July 8th, 2014
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UFC Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson

At 125 pounds, Demetrious Johnson (pictured) is currently the smallest UFC champion. However, UFC president Dana White believes the reigning flyweight king is still big enough to headline future pay-per-view shows despite the rumored lackluster numbers UFC 174 did last month.

“Demetrious will headline another pay-per-view, he’s the champion,” White stated over the weekend. “He could fight on FOX, too. Cain Velasquez fought on FOX. Anybody could fight on FOX. Anybody could fight on pay-per-view.

“Demetrious Johnson is not a problem. I know it’s fun to talk about. It’s fun to try to say, ‘Demetrious doesn’t sell.’ Demetrious does sell. There’s a group of people that want to watch Demetrious fight, and they bought that pay-per-view. There’s a group of people that don’t want to watch him fight. Then you don’t watch him fight. We have a lot of fights. You can handpick which ones you want to watch and which ones you don’t want to watch.”

Johnson became the UFC’s inaugural flyweight champ five outings ago, but finally headlined his first PPV last month in a decision win over Ali Bagautinov. Reporter Dave Meltzer’s unconfirmed report claimed the card did less than 100,000 buys.

Despite being a promoter, White has changed his stance to a take-it-or-leave-it approach. The UFC hosts roughly 50 events each year – showcasing far too many watered down scraps, if you were to ask many pundits – so White says simply watch the ones you want and stop crying.

“So it’s my job to make everybody in the whole f****** world watch a fight?” an agitated White asked. “It’s an impossible job … Demetrious Johnson is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Like Joe Rogan says, he’s the fastest fighter in the sport, and a lot of other great attributes. You’re either a fight fan and you want to watch this guy fight, or you don’t. There’s a certain amount of people that do, there’s a certain amount of people that don’t. We’re doing 50 fights a year.

“[UFC 174] did well, for a division (fans) say that sucks.”

Despite what White says, it would be shocking if Johnson gets top billing on a UFC PPV for his next scrap. Expect for it to appear for $FREE.99 on FOX or Fox Sports 1.

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