Jordan Johnson left the UFC undefeated after four fights in the Octagon. He’ll begin his campaign for a million dollars at PFL 3 2019.
Uniondale, NY – Jordan Johnson is an interesting case. He has yet to lose in his career. He has fought at the highest level in the UFC. But he elected to join PFL instead of continuing to rise through the light heavyweight/middleweight ranks.
“I was with the UFC and going into my last fight, they made an offer and we went back and forth a bit. It just didn’t get to where I wanted it to be at. I have a family that I want to really be able to provide a great life. I didn’t see that with those numbers. So I chose to fight out my contract and I got done and the UFC wasn’t going to change. They made their offer [already]. So I went and tested free agency and PFL was the only organization that had a contract laid out with how I could make a million dollars. They gave me some great money outside the million dollars. But on the contract, I saw: do your job and you’ll get a million bucks.”
Johnson had flexibility as an undefeated free agent. He believed he deserved more than what the UFC could provide, but understands how other fighters might not have the willingness to stand up to the promotion.
“I was in a great position, I was undefeated. A lot of guys aren’t able to get themselves in that position. I know I’m the only guy who went 4-0 and left [the UFC]. It’s a tricky situation. You go in there with a loss and you might not be able to get those offers I got because you got that loss. So you might feel the pressure to just sign that contract. I knew I could go fight anywhere in the world. I really enjoyed my time there. The UFC was awesome. It was a childhood dream come true to compete there. The money stuff? I don’t know. Why change? You’re the UFC. Before I got into the UFC I said if the UFC called and said, ‘Hey, come fight for us, but we’re not going to pay you anything.’ I would’ve been there. Hell yeah. But I got older, I started my family. I had to do what was best for us.”
Before his exit from the UFC, Jordan Johnson took a fight at middleweight, 20 pounds lighter than he was used to. It was meant to spark a career move, but the chance at a million dollars was too much to pass up for Johnson to stay at middleweight.
“I wanted to make the move to 185. With PFL, it’s a million dollars. That million-dollar option wasn’t at 185 because they got rid of the division. I’m not scared to fight up a weight class. If the PFL said, ‘Hey, you can do this tournament, but you’re going to have to do it at heavyweight,’ you would see me at heavyweight. It’s a million dollars. If they said, ‘You have to do this at welterweight,’ you’d see one skinny Jordan Johnson standing in front of you.”
That desire to win from Jordan Johnson will be on full display at PFL 3 2019 tonight at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN 2. Check out the rest of the scrum above.