PFL Lightweight Johnny Case on Coronavirus, UFC Compensation Being “Kind of Average”

Johnny Case RIZIN
Johnny Case Credit: RIZIN FF

Professional Fighter’s League lightweight Johnny Case has fought all over in a career that began back in 2007. The UFC. RIZIN. The PFL.

Yet like many others, he probably could never have guessed where he’d be fighting to start 2020. The answer being nowhere, of course. The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world, and MMA, to its knees, grinding everything to a standstill while the spread of the virus plays out.

In the meantime, Case has been doing what many have, stocking up. In his case, that includes a healthy stash of ammunition, fishing poles, survival manuals, tourniquets, and other emergency gear. “It’s all in good fun. I hope I would never need that sh*t, but at the end of the day, it’s better to have it ready to rock,” he told Cageside Press this week.

The start of the PFL season has been pushed back, with no start date confirmed. Case last fought at RIZIN 20 in December, part of the Japanese promotion’s lightweight grand prix. In all, he went 3-1 for the promotion before returning to the Professional Fighters League, where he competed once in 2018.

Case, however, is looking to occupy his time elsewhere. And as he points out, the best spot may be away from big cities. “The resources are very finite as is. That’s why I was like, guns and ammo. Even hurricane Katrina and sh*t like that. What did it take, like three days before people started killing each other for that sh*t? For basic survival sh*t.”

“People get real f*cking uncivilized when it comes down to, if there’s a lack of basic needs,” he continued. “I honestly think the best thing to do is bug out and get the f*ck as far away from Las Vegas as you can.”

Anywhere with relaxed country living, he suggested. Where things might not change as much as they would in a larger area. “It’s not a huge difference if sh*t goes down, and people aren’t killing each other for resources.”

Case, of course, isn’t fully expecting that. But at the same time, his world has been reduced in scope, like the rest of us, to a handful of essential services. WalMart and other stores. He admittedly didn’t think the coronavirus outbreak was a big deal, initially. A friend changed his mind.

“One of my friends is a nurse. He was telling me about this sh*t. I honestly didn’t think it was that serious,” he explained. “I’m like ‘dude there’s like a 97% survival rate, what the f*ck is the big deal?’ Plus we haven’t really seen very many people on Instagram, or people on social media, I don’t know anybody that’s been sick, I don’t know anybody that’s posted videos like ‘dude this sh*t’s real.’ It’s pretty much just, people are not being out about it.”

“Then my friend tells me, ‘this sh*t’s crazy.’ The word he used was, ‘this isn’t a f*cking virus, this is a plague,” Case recalled. “This is something that nobody’s been prepared for, nobody’s seen it, nobody knows.’ He’s like ‘the direction on what to do changes hour to hour. They don’t even know what the f*ck is going on.'”

That’s when Case admits his friend had “scared the sh*t” out of him.

That said, at some point, Johnny Case will be back in the cage. And it will be for the PFL. Case had always wanted to stay with the PFL after his 2018 stint with them, where he came in short notice. However, their season was over, which led him to RIZIN. Still, he calls the promotion “the best place to fight, for anybody trying to make money, anybody trying to win a title.”

That includes the UFC. “When I was with the UFC, on average, I fought twice a year. When I was winning, when I was really hot, on a hot streak, I got three fights a year,” said Case. “But even three fights in a year— and if you lose a fight, you go down, then might not fight again. Or you might get half your pay. You only eat what you kill.”

While he admits there were advantages to being in the UFC, even for a fighter based in Vegas, the PFL is the better option. “The UFC has a perk of the $50,000 bonus. I was lucky enough to get two of those. Which is kind of nice in a way too. But then again, the depth of the UFC, there’s guys that are 20, 30 [deep in the] rankings that could be in the top ten. They just haven’t won the fights to earn the spots yet.”

In the UFC, Case observed, “the depth of the talent of the fighters is so much deeper, and the financial standpoint is kind of average when it comes to how you’re compensated in other places.”

RIZIN was one example Case gave, as a better option. The PFL was his ultimate choice. “The PFL is obviously the best place to make money. It’s not like it’s 30-guys deep in a weight class. You have 16 studs then 8 of those studs qualify for the playoffs, then one guy wins the title.”

Watch our full interview with Johnny “Hollywood” Case below!

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