Since Johnson is the UFC’s longest reigning champ, and has defeated several of the promotion’s top contenders, there’s been talk recently about him moving up to face Cruz. After all, Johnson’s run in the 125 division has been so dominant, TUF 24 has been set up to determine “Mighty Mouse’s” next opponent…
Recently Johnson appeared on “Submission Radio“. While discussing a super scrap with Cruz, the champ relayed the following, in regards to what he wants to get paid for it (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I think $2 million is fair. I think it’s $2 million. Obviously we don’t have the same fanbase, you know, we’re not prom king or prince or duke or whatever like Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz are. But I’ll tell you what, our skillset and what we’ve done in the past as mixed martial artists in this sport – shit, Dominick Cruz has defended his belt more times than Conor McGregor has and Conor McGregor is more active than Dominick Cruz. So that right there, just what we bring to the table as athletes and what we’ve done in this sport, I think that deserves two million dollars, especially since the UFC got bought for 4.2 billion dollars. WME-IMG has the cash to front this fight.”
From a talent perspective, one can certainly understand why Johnson tossed out that figure. He and Cruz are currently sitting in the #1 and #2 position of the UFC’s Pound-For-Pound division.
But, as Johnson noted, the two don’t have a fanbase like McGregor or Diaz. So, unfortunately, the chances of them commanding that kind of payday for Cruz – Johnson II are slim.
Since Johnson was decisioned by Cruz back in 2011, he’s gone undefeated in 11 straight fights. Johnson also had some interesting things to say about fighter compensation in the interview, so it’s definitely worth a listen.