Demetrious Johnson reacts to rumors that Joe Rogan facilitated his trade from UFC to ONE Championship

By Harry Kettle - January 9, 2024

Demetrious Johnson has given his thoughts on the rumors suggesting Joe Rogan helped facilitate his trade to ONE Championship.

Demetrious Johnson and Joe Rogan

Many years ago, Demetrious Johnson was traded to ONE Championship with Ben Askren joining the UFC in return. It was a fairly unprecedented move in the world of mixed martial arts, as “trades” don’t tend to happen often in the sport. Alas, it happened the way it happened, and it seemed to work out well for everyone involved.

RELATED: Joe Rogan reveals that he previously pleaded with the UFC to sign Ben Askren years prior to trade for Demetrious Johnson: “He was ragdolling these dudes!”

Askren’s star power rose in the UFC and although he lost in five seconds to Jorge Masvidal, the result elevated ‘Gamebred’ in a huge way. As for Johnson, he went on to become the biggest star in ONE Championship.

Recently, some have suggested that Joe Rogan had a role to play in that transfer. Now, ‘Mighty Mouse’ himself has weighed in.

Johnson’s Rogan view

“See, I talked to Joe Rogan and Joe Rogan said, ‘Naw, I had nothing to do with it,’” Johnson said. “When I heard that Joe Rogan convinced Dana White to do it, it was [that Rogan said] ‘Dude, just why not? Just get Ben Askren to see what’s going to happen. If you plan on getting rid of the division, do it.’ Even though Joe Rogan’s one of my biggest fans and he believes in my skill set, I think at the time that it was Dana White—sometimes when I go back and I look at videos of Dana White promoting me, I felt like he did a good job. He was like, ‘This guy’s amazing.’ And there were some videos of him s****** on me as well, I think he’s s*** on everybody.

“At the same time, I just wasn’t selling in the States. I just think the flyweight division wasn’t as popular as it is today, but you look at why is it popular today, you have social media, Instagram, all that stuff just blows up, it goes viral. Can you imagine in 2023 I throw a motherf***** up and armbar him right now? When I blasted Adriano [Moraes] the second time with the knee, stock went through the roof. When I did the Rodtang [Jitmuangnon] fight, stock went through the roof. My brand has never been, my skill set when I fight has never been, ‘Oh, this guy’s garbage.’ I’ve always shown up and fought I just think at the time when I fought [in the UFC] it just wasn’t ready for the viewership.”

Quotes via MMA Fighting

What are your thoughts? Let us know, BJPENN Nation!


Demetrious Johnson Joe Rogan ONE Championship UFC