UFC champ Demetrious Johnson willing to go to bantamweight – for the right incentive


UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson is rolling through the 125-pound division and an argument could be made by some that he could clean out the weight class by year’s end.

But Johnson (19-2-1 MMA, 7-1-1 UFC) isn’t exactly anxious to try his hand once more in the bantamweight division, where he first competed as a fighter under contract with Zuffa. The incentives have to be there.

“I don’t want to say it’s not in my future,” Johnson recently said of the potential to move back to 135 pounds, even for a superfight. “When Dana White talks about [Georges St-Pierre] (and) Anderson Silva fighting each other, or Jon Jones-Anderson Silva, he always says, ‘They’re going to make a lot of money.’

“Now, if Dana White comes to me and says, ‘Ya know, Demetrious, you’ve cleaned out the whole flyweight division – now I’d like you to go up to the bantamweight division,’ he’s got to make it worth my while.”

Of course, Johnson, who’s thrice defended his belt, has a different definition of what it means to clear out a division, which might keep him stationary for the near future.

“I believe the UFC is doing a great job getting more flyweights in the division, and I don’t think I’ve cleaned out the division until I’ve beaten everybody in the division,” he said. “If they’ve never gotten a chance at a title shot, it doesn’t matter to me. If I haven’t beaten everybody there, then I haven’t cleaned it out.”

Johnson recently said he isn’t motivated by other financial incentives offered to UFC champs – namely, pay-per-view profit sharing. He also said he’s content fighting on the UFC on FOX fight cards for which he’s become known as a headliner.

So, for the moment, there’s not much reason to move. Johnson, 27, awaits his next booking, which could be a fight with the winner of Saturday’s UFC 169 bout between Ali Bagautinov and Jon Lineker.

Check out the video above for more from Johnson, who spoke at a UFC on FOX 10 fan Q&A, on that potential jump back to bantamweight – and the difference between fighting there and his current flyweight home.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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