Demetrious Johnson cleared the air with Joe Rogan about his involvement in pushing him out of the UFC.
Johnson is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. The former UFC flyweight champion enjoyed a dominant reign at the top that saw him earn various records, including the most finishes in UFC flyweight history with 7. After a controversial split decision loss to former two-division champion Henry Cejudo in Aug. 2018, Johnson would leave the UFC for ONE championship.
Demetrious Johnson details why he left UFC & clears the air with Joe Rogan
In a recent episode of Joe Rogan Experience, Demetrious Johnson opened up about his exit from the UFC.
“At the time I was like, I wonder if I can do something different. Malki told me to let him know what I wanted to do. I was like, ‘I wonder if I can get out of my contract and try to do something different.’ I looked at it this way, if I were to fight Henry Cejudo again, for the third time, it could’ve gone either of two ways; one, I beat Henry and I’m still stuck in the same situation I am right now. They were in talks of getting rid of the flyweight division. Or two, if I lose to Henry, then I’m still stuck in the position, I just lost to him again. So why not see if I can go and explore other options and that’s when trade talks came about.”
DJ claimed he was told Rogan had something to do with him being traded to ONE Championship for Ben Askren and cleared the air with Rogan.
“Somebody said you know Joe Rogan had a piece in it. I was like, really? He goes yeah. I was told you kinda convinced them like, ‘who gives a s**t? Just get Ben Askren or something like that,” Johnson said.
“That’s not really accurate,” Rogan said.
Johnson let go of being perfect
Following the first knockout loss of his professional career to Adriano Moraes in Apr. 2021, ‘Mighty Mouse’ rebounded to win the ONE title again in a rematch at ONE on Prime 1 in August. He talked about the change in mindset he had after suffering the loss of his sister which helped him become a more successful athlete.
“Everybody is so worried about winning and losing. Why? You’re going to die someday so why the f**k worry about winning or losing. Are you having fun? Yeah, perfect, who cares if you lose.”
“If I train eight weeks and I can’t have 1 beer and it’s going to change the outcome of me winning the fight, then I don’t deserve to win the fight so it is what it is. That whole mindset made me a better athlete. It took away the pressure of being perfect.”
Demetrious Johnson is the reigning ONE flyweight champion and has shown no signs of slowing down. While a return to the UFC seems unlikely, DJ is satisfied with his current arrangement in the growing MMA promotion.