UFC flyweight champion Demetrius Johnson has signed a new contract with the UFC without entering into free agency. There were two fights left on Johnson’s contract before the new contract.
Johnson defeated Henry Cejudo at UFC 197 putting him at eight straight successful title defenses, just two short of Anderson Silva’s record.
On the MMA Hour Johnson said:
I think when fighters do that, they want to see what they’re worth, but at the same time, if they negotiate with the UFC, and they get what they like, there’s no point going and testing free agency. And the thing is, even Rampage Jackson said it before, nobody treats you better than the UFC.
This type of re-signing is similar to restricted free agency where an athlete can re-sign with a team without interference of other offers. If the athlete believes the contract to be fair then he can agree to it without even bothering to go through the free agency process.
For some reason Johnson has never turned into a PPV star. Demetrius Johnson has been one of the best fighters in the UFC’s young history. He has been the champion for as long as the flyweight division has been part of the company. His dominance over the division and dominance over every opponent he’s faced have resulted in less entertaining fights and a certain amount of boredom around the division as a whole.
Johnson discusses a conversation he had with Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White were they believed that if Johnson had more competition, or at the least the appearance of competition then he might become more popular. White points out that Silva didn’t make the jump to super stardom until he fought Chael Sonnen twice in tough fights.