Demetrious Johnson is one of the greatest fighters combat sports has even seen, but recently, a man who had never fought in a pro-bout, collected more money than him. Well, now the flyweight champ is speaking out about the situation.
That man, as the headline notes, is former pro-wrestling star, CM Punk. Last September, Punk made his MMA debut at UFC 203, and was quickly taken out by Mickey Gall. While we don’t know how much money the star earned in pay-per-view dividends, it was disclosed to the Ohio Commission that Punk made $500,000 to show. For Johnson’s win over Tim Elliott in December, it was reported the champ earned $350,000.
Recently Johnson spoke with ESPN, and while discussing how much he makes, “Mighty Mouse” said this:
“There is not another sport in the world where you can be the best at it but not get paid the best. I never wanted to say this before, but I don’t care anymore, and it’s just facts: When [former WWE star] CM Punk [Phil Brooks] signed with the UFC, people asked me how I felt about it, and I said, “CM Punk will probably make more money than I do on his very first fight.” And he did. I think his payout was $500,000. I have nothing against CM Punk, but if you look at the sheer nonsense of that, it doesn’t make sense. I know you have to look at the business standpoint, that he’s going to sell a lot of tickets, but he can’t fight! That’s why I’ve said the UFC should just try to sign that “Cash Me Ousside” girl, because she’ll talk s— and probably outsell everybody.”
Now, yes, some will argue that this is just business. At the end of the day, Punk is a bigger draw than Johnson, and accordingly, he makes more money.
But, Johnson is right in that this is a sport where the best don’t always earn the most. There’s something fundamentally wrong with that. Now that Johnson is gunning to break the title defense record of Anderson Silva, hopefully some serious buzz is generated and “Mighty Mouse” can make something closer to what he deserves.