Former UFC Champion Demetrious Johnson has warned prospect Paddy Pimblett about the dangers of managing his career and requiring the UFC to pay him premium prices before agreeing to face premium opposition, noting that the champion’s own mindsight was to just effortlessly beat whoever the UFC put in front of him and trust the money would come eventually. The strategy was highly successful for Johnson, an all-time great talent capable of dominating the top fighters in his division for several unbeatable years, as he only needed to win three title fights to get the UFC to raise his guaranteed pay over $30,000.
“My coach and manager used to tell me to ignore the money,” Johnson said. “Trying to get paid what you’re worth is bad business. The key to success is to sign on the line for whatever they’re willing to pay you to fight whoever they want you to fight, then beating those guys with your GOAT-caliber skills. That’s how you do it.”
Following Johnson’s advice may yet keep Pimblett from stumbling down the path of Nate Diaz, who fought Michael Johnson for a guaranteed $20,000 before forging his reputation as a picky fighter in posturing his way into an estimated $5.7 million in two fights with Conor McGregor and and $2.3 million in his three fights since. Johnson urged Pimblett to just be a good company fighter, do everything the UFC says, and he too may one day have the opportunity to more than double his pay by leaving for a new organization because Dana doesn’t like him.