Jake Paul’s dispute with the UFC and its President Dana White has gotten a lot hotter in recent weeks, but the online beef has an aim. The online sensation turned boxing champion recently announced his plans to form an MMA union for the benefit of all UFC fighters.
There was a clear rationale for Paul and White’s tense relationship when they first became foes. UFC fighters, according to the YouTuber, are underpaid.
While the story has become more complicated in recent months, with emotions growing and Paul even threatening to fight the UFC president, fighter pay is said to have always been at the heart of their rivalry.
“It’s really about the fighters,” Paul explained to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. The reason behind his consistent pestering all circles back to “how underpaid [UFC fighters] are.”
Paul has “been in the gym and seen how hard these guys work,” having started his MMA training immediately after his KO of former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. The influencer said it is basically about fighter pay and getting them healthcare. He further continued that he is poking the bear and disturbing the entire business.
Paul, who is now an investor in the UFC, has every intention of continuing along this route and bringing about change. “I’m not stopping anytime,” he says, adding that his ultimate goal is to “create a fighters union.”
“This is my goal,” he continued, “to really impact the whole sport. Leave an everlasting stamp.” Paul intends to agitate Dana White and the UFC until the situation for fighters improves.
“I’m using my platform because I’m one of the few people who actually can.”
Despite attempts by organizations such as the Professional Fighters Association to establish an MMA union over the last decade, little has changed. Paul claims that because he is not a part of the UFC’s system, he has an advantage over White. He explained, “I just so happen to not be beholden to anyone”.
The boxer claimed that many of these UFC fighters are enslaved to Dana White and are unable to speak out against him. “I’m using my platform because I’m one of the few people who actually can. I’ll say whatever, I’ll speak the truth.”
There’s no way of knowing how far away such goals are for Paul. With his current efforts concentrated on diss tracks and possibly even a trip to space with Elon Musk, an MMA union maybe a few years away.
One thing is certain: his antics with Dana White and the UFC aren’t going to stop anytime soon.