Alexandre Pantoja is puzzled by the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) discontent with Demetrious Johnson.
“Mighty Mouse” is one win away from breaking Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive successful title defenses in UFC history. While Johnson thought he’d be defending his gold against Ray Borg, the UFC pushed for him to fight T.J. Dillashaw instead.
The flyweight champion wasn’t happy with the treatment he was getting from the promotion, so he didn’t take the fight. As a fellow 125-pounder, Pantoja doesn’t understand why the UFC is throwing their weight around with the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world (via MMAFighting.com):
“Some fighters can promote well, I think Conor McGregor is someone that pleases everyone, but not every fighter is like that. The UFC should be the one to build a marketing structure that matches Demetrious Johnson’s style. I know he loves video games, so they could work on that. It doesn’t help to argue with him. The guy is winning. It’s a bit ridiculous to see the UFC demand anything from a guy that dominates the division for five years.”
He then recalled meeting “Mighty Mouse” for the first time.
“I met him at the Retreat. He’s a super nice guy. And I was surprised to find out that he’s shorter than me. I’m one of the lightest fighters in the division, and he’s as light as me and dominates the division. He didn’t need to change his body structure, keeps his weight low and puts on a show. He’s explosive, dominant, and his cardio is unbelievable. He fights the fifth round as he fights the first one. I think the key for his performance is his mindset.”
Pantoja competes today (July 16) against Neil Seery on the UFC Fight Night 113 card.