UFC fighter Demetrious Johnson is pretty amped, but also undeniably shocked by the decision to have the winner of The Ultimate Fighter receive an immediate title shot... against him.
Apparently, he was never even approached about the idea.
"I never said that I would never fight the winner," Johnson told MMAFighting.com.
That being said, he's actually pretty into the idea.
"It was like someone came to me and said ‘Hey dude, did you know your wife was pregnant and I'm like ‘what the f--- do you mean my wife is pregnant?,'" Johnson said.
"So that's how it came off, I think a lot of people ran with it like, ‘the UFC s--- all over Demetrious Johnson.' The UFC didn't tell me about this, I had no idea."
Johnson believes his initial reaction to the UFC's plan created a perception he didn't want to fight the TUF 24 winner. As far as he's concerned though, they could put anyone from Joseph Benavidez to John Dodson in the TUF house, and he'd be willing to fight whoever emerged.
"Joseph has proven time and time again that he's one of the best flyweights in the world," Johnson said. "Throw him in the house with everyone else. Let's see who gets past him. He would probably fight out of the house and earn that title shot, right? I never said that I would never fight the winner. I was basically, one UFC never said anything to me about it, and two, a fan told me about it. ... People took that and made it sound like a fear of me fighting anyone in the house."
"Coaching The Ultimate Fighter in my weight class, I couldn't do it," he added. "I'd basically be coaching people to beat me. I'm going to give you my riddle? This is what made my so successful, this is what enabled me to have seven title defenses and why am I going to divulge that information to people? ... I put 10 years into learning the craft of mixed martial arts, I'm not going to give it away to some Joe Schmoe. I wouldn't mind coaching maybe middleweights or whatever. We'll see what happens."
Ultimately, while Johnson was surprised to find out about TUF 24 in the manner that he did, he also says he's not too bothered about it.
"I don't take offense," Johnson said. "I take care of Demetrious Johnson and the UFC takes care of themselves, That's nothing against the UFC, they're a well-oiled machine, they do an amazing job at advertising and making stars. All I can do is make sure Demetrious Johnson does the best he can on fight night and goes out and wins his fights."
Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson will defend his title against Henry Cejudo in the co-main event of UFC 197 in Las Vegas.