Demetrious Johnson’s manager Malki Kawa hit the jackpot with his fighter.
Johnson was traded to ONE Championship and in return the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) received Ben Askren. In Johnson, ONE gets one of the most accomplished fighters in the history of mixed martial arts while he’s still in his prime. The UFC gets a brash, undefeated welterweight with the gift of gab and the potential to be a premium talent.
Malki Kawa Makes Bold Claim
Johnson’s manager Kawa recently appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. He said that Eddie Alvarez’s “eight-figure” deal doesn’t match “Mighty Mouse’s:”
“DJ’s the highest paid fighter at ONE. Take his numbers now, he’d be one of the highest paid guys at the UFC as well as ONE, just to put it like that. You heard Eddie Alvarez’s deal he was talking about? DJ’s is way better than that. If I know [what] a ONE guy has, I will never let another guy beat my guy on something like that.”
While Johnson was considered to be the pound-for-pound best fighter in MMA by many, he didn’t have the drawing power to earn the type of money that a more established star would. Throw in the fact that Johnson had to deal with Reebok checks and you have a high-level talent who wasn’t too happy. Now that he’s with a new promotion, “Mighty Mouse” seems to be taking in the fresh air. There’s no word yet on who Johnson will face in his ONE Championship debut, but many except him to receive an immediate flyweight title shot.
Do you think Demetrious Johnson will retire with ONE Championship as he believes he will?