Joining the First Round Management roster has seemed to pay off for Demetrious Johnson.
The UFC flyweight champion revealed in an interview with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani at Wednesday’s UFC 216 media day that he will receive pay-per-view points for the first time when he fights Ray Borg this weekend. Pay-per-view points are a small percentage of the UFC’s pay-per-view profits given to high-profile fighters, typically headliners or champions.
Johnson joined First Round Management this past summer, and his new manager, Malki Kawa, helped negotiate a new UFC deal for “Mighty Mouse.”
Johnson said though he’ll receive pay-per-view points, his disclosed purse is still lower than $500,000.
“It just got restructured,” Johnson said of his new contract. “I just want to be on the same playing field as all the other champions. Every single champion out there gets $500,000 flat to win, plus pay-per-view points. I’m not to that level yet. That’s my goal, that’s where I believe First Round Management can get me to.
“It’s not like this is my first, or second, or fourth title defense; I didn’t just win the belt. You got guys who win the belt and they get $500,000 flat straight up, and then they get pay-per-view points.”
Johnson said he thinks a $500,000 flat rate and pay-per-view points should be standard for every UFC titleholder, but he understands why that is not the case.
“That’s why I don’t run the UFC and I don’t have my own fight promotion,” Johnson said. “I’d probably be broke. You can’t do it; you’d make no money whatsoever.”
Johnson was initially supposed to fight Borg in the UFC 215 headliner last month, but the challenger pulled out during fight week due to an illness. The title fight was quickly rescheduled, and the champ said he was happy with the bout cancellation’s aftermath.
Now, Johnson is set to meet Borg in the UFC 216 co-main event on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. A win would surpass Anderson Silva’s UFC record of 10 straight title defenses.
Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee for the interim lightweight championship will serve as the main event.