Demetrious Johnson flew to Edmonton last week with two expectations: having the ability to set a UFC record and earning a pay check to help provide for his family.
As of Monday, the UFC flyweight champion doesn’t have either thing to show for his trip.
Johnson was supposed to face Ray Borg in the UFC 215 main event Saturday night. But last Thursday, Borg withdrew from the bout due to illness and there was no time to find Johnson a last-second opponent.
With a victory, Johnson would have set the UFC’s record for most consecutive title defenses (11), beating out Anderson Silva. He also would have earned his show money and his win bonus. Johnson has not seen either one of those from the UFC yet and he doesn’t know if he will get paid at all for UFC 215.
Johnson (26-2-1) said his representatives at First Round Management are currently working with the UFC to figure that out. “Mighty Mouse” said UFC officials told him they don’t usually pay athletes when they’ll be able to turn around quickly and the hope is that Johnson vs. Borg will be rebooked for UFC 216 on Oct. 7 in Las Vegas. UFC fighters primarily only get paid when they fight.
“Usually if it’s a quick turnaround, then typically they do not pay the athletes,” Johnson said. “Hopefully they do make things happen on Oct. 7, if it’s possible, then I can get a pay check. As far as I’m concerned, my black ass should be going to the bank and depositing a check right now and taking my kids to school. But that’s not the case right now.”
Johnson, 31, said he heard Thursday night from UFC counsel Hunter Campbell that Borg would be unable to fight. Johnson said he was about to get started on his weight cut when Campbell told his coach Matt Hume to stop what he was doing. One of the first things out of his mouth in response, Johnson said, was a question about his purse.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. … “When they said, ‘Stop cutting weight,’ and the first thing I said, I said, ‘How the f*ck do I get my money? Do I need to finish cutting weight, step on the scale, so I can get my pay check?’ Because I just trained eight weeks for this.”
Johnson said UFC welterweight star Donald Cerrone, a friend and big “supporter” of Johnson, went to Abe Kawa, Johnson’s manager on Saturday night, and asked him if he was going to “get this little mother f*cker paid.”
Neither Kawa nor the UFC immediately responded to a request for comment on the situation Monday.
Johnson joked that it’s good to have Cerrone in his corner, but his options are limited on an individual level. All he can do is get back in the gym, train and prepare to potentially fight Borg in a few weeks. The ball is in the court of his management and the UFC now.
“I didn’t get a pay check, so I’m still searching for my pay check,” Johnson said. “They said I have to fight and make weight Oct. 7. Then I’m coming to fight and collecting cash.”