Last week, the legendary voice of the Octagon spoke on his ">"Its Time!!!" podcast about the contract dispute between UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and the promotion. And his belief that it would be risky for the champ to leave the organization since he feels fighters become irrelevant when no longer competing under the bright UFC spotlight.
Bruce Buffer says fighters become irrelevant when they leave the UFC
"No offense to other organizations, but you become irrelevant when you leave the UFC after a while," Buffer said [h /t BJPenn.com]. "Instead of losing in the UFC your contract is being ended in the UFC, and you fall from the Octagon down into Bellator, [etc].”
Many talented Octagon veterans have taken their talents from the UFC to other organizations over the last few years. Elite level fighters like Ryan Bader, Corey Anderson, Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Cris "Cyborg" Justino. And in many of those instances, they left for greener financial pastures elsewhere.
Anthony Johnson slams Buffer for his comments
Another of those athletes who chose to compete in a different promotion after a memorable UFC run is Johnson. He signed with Bellator in 2020 after having two stints in the UFC between 2007 and 2017. On Thursday, news outlet MMA Island used Buffer's quotes in an Instagram image post, and "Rumble" did not take kindly to his former co-worker's thoughts. Responding in the comments section by telling the decades-long announcer to "stay off crack."
"Bruce needs to stay off Crack," Johnson wrote "...How's Anything irrelevant when providing food and shelter for family? Oh, btw I got paid way more for moving to another organization. Bruce has his guaranteed money so he can talk. FIGHTER'S have to wait and actually entertain ppl when they get the chance to make some money."
Johnson has fought just once for Bellator. A May 2021 knockout win over Jose Augusto Azevedo Barros in the opening round of the Bellator light heavyweight Grand Prix. However, he was forced out of the semifinals due to an illness.
What are your thoughts? Is Johnson taking Buffer's comments the wrong way, or should the Octagon voice stay in his lane and not give his opinion on such topics?