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Demetrious Johnson (left) will face Rodtang Jitmuangnon on December 5 in Singapore. Photo: ONE Championship

UFC boss Dana White says Demetrious Johnson vs Rodtang in ONE Championship is ‘weird’ and ‘won’t work’

  • UFC president dismissive of Asian promotion’s special rules crossover bout between MMA and Muay Thai stars
  • ‘You gotta figure out different ideas to make it work. Maybe that’s what they’re doing ... if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ White says

UFC president Dana White will not be taking notes from ONE Championship and their upcoming special rules bout involving Demetrious Johnson.

Former UFC flyweight king Johnson is set to do battle with Muay Thai icon Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a four-round fight at the Asian promotion’s 10th anniversary show, ONE: X, on December 5 in Singapore.

The ruleset will alternate between Muay Thai and MMA each round, and White hinted that perhaps there‘s a reason behind the unique match-up.

“I just think that mixing those things up is weird and won’t work,” he told media including the Post in Las Vegas after Tuesday’s Contender Series. “But if you have a company and you’re bleeding money, you start throwing the kitchen sink at the thing.

“You start trying to figure out anything to make it work and that’s not a dig it’s just that’s what you’ve gotta do when you’re in business and s*** isn’t working. You gotta figure out different ideas to make it work. Maybe that’s what they’re doing.”

Since the early tournament days of the UFC, things have been pretty cut and dry in the promotion. Outside The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC has only put on one tournament in recent times, when welcoming the 125-pound flyweight men in 2012 – also including Johnson.

ONE: DJ will get ‘crushed’ if he plays Rodtang’s game, says N Sang

Historically, fans have criticised the UFC for its lack of creativity where so many other promotions around the world have begun thriving over the years, but White does not care.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” White said. “It’s like when people ask me about music. There’s a completely different mindset when I go to a concert than when I go to a fight.

“When you put 20,000 people in a stadium, the odds that all 20,000 people are going to like the same music is highly unlikely. It’s like if you and I go to an AC/DC concert, we’re going to see AC/DC – we like AC/DC. If you and I go to an AC/DC concert and somebody comes out that we’re not into, it’s just a completely different vibe.”

Demetrious Johnson takes down Wilson Reis during their UFC flyweight title bout on April 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: AFP

Johnson against Rodtang was announced by ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong last week, alongside two massive title fights.

In the 145-pound bantamweight division, the legendary Bibiano Fernandes returns to defend his crown against “Hands of Stone” John Lineker.

Featherweight champion Thanh Le will also make his first title defence when looking to be the first man to defeat BJJ wizard Garry Tonon since the American’s switch to MMA.