Demetrious Johnson reveals $60,000 payday for UFC title defense: ‘That’s where the chip on my shoulder came from’

Demetrious Johnson UFC ONE Championship
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC

Former undisputed UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson has revealed he earned a total of $60,000 for his rematch knockout win over the now-retired, Joseph Benavidez back in 2013 – earning a measly $30,000 to show, and a further $30,000 to win.

Johnson, a native of Kentucky, competed under the banner of the UFC between 2011 and 2018, and in that time, managed to land a promotional-best, 11 consecutive successful flyweight title defenses. 

In the time since his departure from the UFC, which came in the form of a monumental ONE Championship trade with Ben Askren, Johnson has managed to land an impressive 4-1 promotional record in Singapore – including a flyweight Grand Prix win and a further undisputed title victory. 

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Demetrious Johnson comments on his payscale during his time with the UFC

Reflecting on his tenure with the UFC, Johnson detailed his fighter pay issue during his time with the Dana White-led promotion, revealing he made just a total $60,000 for his title defense with Benavidez back in 2013.

“When I fought Dominick Cruz, I was fighting for $14,000 and $14,000,” Demetrious Johnson said on his YouTube channel. “Lost to Dominick Cruz, I made $14,000. Then I was about to fight Eddie Wineland, but that didn’t go through so I fought Ian McCall in Australia. I was still on that same contract. And then, I got a new contract when I fought McCall for a second time, I think I bumped up to $20,000 (and) $20,000.”

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“And then I fought Joseph Benavidez and I was still on that $20,000 (and) $20,000,” Demetrious Johnson explained. “When I fought John Dodson I made $23,000 (and) $23,000, when I fought John Moraga I probably went $26,000 (and) $26,000, and then when it was Joseph Benavidez (rematch) I think it was like $30,000 (and) $30,000.” 

Comparing his payscale to that of UFC welterweight veteran, professional wrestler, CM Punk, Johnson claimed had a certain chip on his shoulder to see the paycheck the now-promotional alum was making for his second Octagon appearance.

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“I’m going on my seventh or eighth title defense – you’ve got CM Punk over here and he’s making 500 bones ($500,000) and it’s his second fight in the UFC. That’s where the chip on  my should came from.”