Demetrious Johnson discusses Francis Ngannou’s UFC exit. ‘Dana [White] loves to talk a lot’


Demetrious Johnson knows what it’s like to have a rocky relationship with the UFC.

Johnson, the greatest flyweight of all-time and the record-holder for the most consecutive UFC title defenses in history, parted ways with the promotion in 2018 when he was traded to ONE Championship in exchange for Ben Askren. After an eight-year, up-and-down journey between “Mighty Mouse”, the UFC brass and Johnson’s departure in January of this year, Johnson was able to relate more than anyone else to the long-running saga.

Earlier this week, Johnson reacted to the former UFC heavyweight champion’s video explaining why he left the promotion while still holding the title — and he couldn’t help but chuckle at UFC president Dana White’s suggestion at the press conference announcing Ngannou’s exit that “if you don’t want to be here, you don’t have to be here.”

” We all know it’s a lie,” Johnson stated on his YouTube channel , joking.

In the video, Johnson voiced support for Ngannou following White’s assertion that the ex-champ wanted to leave the UFC out of a desire to fight lesser competition.

Ngannou openly campaigned for the chance to fight Jon Jones as the former 205-pound champion’s heavyweight debut after capturing the title in March 2021, however the relationship between Ngannou and the UFC soured by early 2022. After his title defense over Ciryl Gane, Ngannou said he only wanted freedom from the UFC’s “one-sided” contract and that he did not feel respected by the company. After UFC officials refused to grant him concessions beyond the normal framework of a UFC contract (including health insurance for all fighters and the right to pursue his own intra-cage sponsorships) Ngannou eventually left the organization.

Johnson saw nothing unusual in White’s rhetoric about Ngannou not wanting to “take the risk” of fighting competition at Jones’ level.

“Dana [White] likes to say a lot of things to get fighters to do certain things,” Johnson said.

“History: Eddie Alvarez told me that he was determined to complete his contract, deliver his deliverables, and then to make a decision about what to do with his life .”


Johnson expressed hope that Ngannou will be able to turn his UFC victory into big-money opportunities in boxing. Ngannou and Tyson Fury, boxing champs, have been openly flirting with the idea of a matchup. Fury recently called for a marquee match with Ngannou in which he would fight Tyson Tyson.

Johnson stated that he hopes Ngannou will use the chance to jumpstart himself into several one-off contracts in order to increase his value across all combat sports.

“I would love to see him in boxing,” Johnson said. “I would love to see him try to do stand-up boxing. His desire to boxing is something he has always said. I believe that he will be able, as a professional boxer, to achieve that goal. Right? So he can sign a one-fight deal against Tyson Fury, fight that fight. Either win, loss, draw, he can move onto the next one and go, ‘You know what? You know what? I’m going to do bare-knuckle fighting.’ Or, ‘You know what? That way you can go and do what you please.” This way you have the freedom to move around as you wish

Click below to see Johnson’s reaction video to Ngannou’s UFC exit.