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The Journey from UFC to One Championship: Demetrious Johnson’s Story

In the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), few names resonate with the grandeur and skill of Demetrious Johnson. A fighter of unparalleled skill and technique, Johnson’s journey from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to ONE, a narrative of triumph, revelation, and a stark insight into the contrasting landscapes of global MMA promotions.

Johnson’s tenure at UFC was marked by spectacular victories and a display of artistry inside the octagon. However, as revealed in the candid conversation on the OverDogs Podcast, the treatment meted out to this illustrious fighter by UFC was less than befitting of his stature. 

The transition to One Championship wasn’t just a change of banners for Johnson; it was a monumental shift that brought with it a staggering 10x increase in pay. “When I was UFC champion I made $350K to show,” Johnson shared, illuminating the pay disparity that exists within the UFC.

Photo: Getty Images

The move to One Championship was not just a personal victory for Johnson but also a moment of revelation for the entire MMA community. It underscored the financial constraints and undervaluation that even the most elite fighters faced in the UFC. 

Johnson’s revelation about his earnings is not just a window into his journey but a mirror reflecting the financial struggles of many of his peers. “I worked all the way up to the Dominick Cruz fight and was making $10.86 per hour while fighting in the UFC,” Johnson disclosed, painting a stark picture of the economic challenges UFC fighters endure.

The implications of Johnson’s move are profound and far-reaching. It’s a clarion call for a reevaluation of fighter pay, a topic that has often been shrouded in controversy and secrecy. Johnson’s candid disclosure not only brings this issue to the forefront but also raises pertinent questions about the equitable treatment of fighters, their financial security, and the sustainability of a career in MMA.

Photo: Getty Images

One Championship, with its lucrative offer to Johnson, has not only secured a prized fighter but has also positioned itself as a viable and attractive alternative to the UFC. Johnson’s shift underscores a broader narrative of evolving power dynamics within the world of MMA.

It’s a narrative where fighters are beginning to reassess their worth, question the status quo, and explore opportunities that extend beyond the traditional and established platforms.

As Johnson settles into the One Championship, the ripples of his move are felt across the MMA landscape. It’s a journey that transcends personal achievement and touches upon the collective aspirations of fighters worldwide. 

It’s a story that compels introspection, not just among the fighters but also among the organizations, the fans, and the stakeholders of this global sport.

In the candid reflections of ‘Mighty Mouse’, the MMA community finds not just the recounting of a personal journey but the unveiling of a broader narrative. 

It’s a narrative of value, worth, and the unyielding spirit of fighters who, like Johnson, are not just champions in the octagon but are also champions of their own worth, dignity, and rightful place in the world of MMA.

For those eager to explore more engaging moments from this episode, please head on over to, or watch the full episode below.

E3 • S1 UFC Superstar Demetrious Johnson talks FAMILY, FIGHTING, FAME & UFC291 | OverDogs Podcast

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