Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson defended his Flyweight strap this past Saturday (April 15, 2017) against Wilson Reis via armbar (see it) in the main event of UFC on FOX 24 from Kansas City, Missouri.
Unfortunately, not a whole lot of people tuned in to see “Mighty Mouse” tie Anderson Silva’s longstanding record for consecutive title defenses, as the ratings for the FOX-televised event were an all-time low for the promotion, which did only 1.74 million viewers according to the early overnight numbers.
And while Johnson hasn’t exactly performed at the box office when it comes to pay-per-view (PPV) buys, he says this time around the dip in numbers should be attributed to the lack of marketing and promotion for the event by the WME-IMG-owned company.
“I went on Twitch and said, ‘I want to ask anyone in the world, have any of you guys seen a commercial for my fight against Wilson Reis?’” Johnson said during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.
“And everyone was like, ‘no, no no.’ One guy said, ‘I saw one on UFC.com YouTube channel.’ I’m like ‘okay, I haven’t seen one either. And you know what I watch all day? Fox Sports 1 and Fox becasue I watch Monster Jam for the kids,” said Demetrious, who pointed to the fact that the first time he saw a commercial was one week before the event.
“The first time I saw a commercial for my fight was UFC 210. The first time I saw a commercial was one week before my fight. No one here around here knew I was fighting, just because they didn’t see any commercials,” said Johnson. “You have to take into account, how much advertising did they do? I put that in the back of my mind and then don’t worry about it and go out there and put it out of my mind and put on my performance.”
At the end of the day, Johnson says despite the low numbers, he is very proud of what he accomplished Saturday night in the “Show Me State,” tying Silva’s record while submitting a jiu-jitsu black belt.
And if you don’t like seeing his near “perfect” performances, well, that’s on you.
“If you don’t like what I did Saturday night, if you don’t like a white belt who never did one jiu-jitsu tournament submitting a black belt, that’s your bad. But I am very proud of myself.”
And he should be proud of himself, as one more win will put him in sole possession of the record for consecutive title defenses under the UFC umbrella. Something box office draws such as Jon Jones, Conor McGregor and even Georges St-Pierre can’t claim.