Dana White's beef with arguably his greatest fighter has just gotten uglier
Dana White is a phenomenal promoter, but every so often he does something that makes everyone question how he is the president of a sports organisation.
UFC flyweight and pound-for-pound king Demetrious Johnson is in Dana White's bad books.
White has reluctantly granted 'Mighty Mouse' his wish of defending his belt against Ray Borg, ending the push for him to fight former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw for his potential record-breaking title defence.
He dropped the news to MMAjunkie, but anyone with high blood pressure might want to steer clear of these outrageously salty comments.
"You want Ray Borg, we’ll give you Ray Borg. I’m sure the fans will be clamouring, and ticket sales will be through the roof and pay-per-views will be off the charts."
Sad but true https://t.co/cZV7W7IXF8
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) March 15, 2017
White cited Conor McGregor, who he claims wants to fight undefeated Dagestani Khabib Nurmagomedov upon returning to the Octagon, as an example of the attitude Johnson should aspire to have.
"When I talk about the Conor McGregor thing, there’s the complete fucking opposite of Conor McGregor. ‘I want to roll into Russia and fight Khabib – the guy that if you ask most fans and media, they say, ‘Keep him away from fucking Khabib.’ You know what I mean? No, I want Khabib, and I want him in Russia in his home country. The complete opposite."
Remarkably, in the middle of talking all this shit about Johnson, White recounted all the times he talked him up in press conferences and that season of TUF that was built around him as times when he promoted him.
Then he proceeded to give out about him more.
The head says he hasn't got a hope, but the heart... https://t.co/NxD0ERQE5P
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) June 28, 2017
Just to bring you up to speed, Johnson has always been considered a loyal company man. However, he sent an emotional statement to MMA Fighting listing a plethora of examples of how he felt the promotion was mistreating him.
In the statement, he claimed that White 'angrily' told him to fight Dillashaw, who was campaigning for a flyweight title fight after Cody Garbrandt's injury postponed their scheduled bantamweight title fight. DJ claims this happened after he had agreed terms with Borg. A matchmaker supposedly told him he had no choice but to fight Borg as opposed to his preferred choice of Sergio Pettis.
Johnson was reluctant to fight Dillashaw for a number of reasons, including the fact that Dillashaw has never fought at 125 lbs before. If he missed weight then the fight would not have counted as a defence and the chance to break Anderson Silva's record would be delayed.
Incredibly, the UFC's statement announcing that Germaine de Randamie had been stripped of the women's featherweight belt contained the following line:
"UFC maintains that any champion is expected to accept fights against the top contenders in their respective weight classes in order to maintain the integrity of the sport."
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) June 19, 2017
Johnson also claimed that the UFC had already told him that a fight between himself and current 135 lb king Garbrandt wouldn’t be 'sellable', so he failed to see how fighting the number one contender would be worth his while.
After all that, White's giving him Borg, but he warns DJ not to be surprised if the fight doesn't sell as well as he hopes.
"So I’m not thrilled about it, but guess what? You want Ray Borg, we’ll give you Ray Borg. I don’t want to hear any shit if it’s not the blockbuster event you expect it to be.”
Does Johnson vs Borg necessarily need to be a headliner? UFC 214 currently has three title fights. Just put the flyweight title fight in its rightful home of the co-main event.