As a fight promoter with his Most Valuable Promotions, Jake Paul understands the financial burdens that fall upon those providing the payouts for sanctioned combat sports events.
And, as a vocal financial supporter of MMA fighters, Paul knows just how small some fighters’ purses can be – even champions, which led to him throwing UFC boss Dana White under the bus for a recent cash “birthday gift” to a friend that outweighed the earnings of one of his champion’s purses:
“It shows just how much of a scumbag Dana White is,” Paul told Carton & Roberts on WFAN Tuesday. “People are really starting to see how greedy this guy is, and how underpaid these fighters are.”
According to a video posted on Twitter Monday, Kyle Forgeard – one of the founders of the Nelk Boys, a group that produces prank videos and has more than one billion views on YouTube and is often seen at UFC events – a cash gift of $250,000, just months after they gave White a Maybach van wrapped in a sponsor logo as a holiday gift.
The problem? That sum was almost double what current UFC Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo made for his title fight at UFC 270 in January, when he made $150K for defeating Brandon Moreno by unanimous decision to regain that title.
Figueiredo called the sum “totally embarrassing” in an appearance on an MMA podcast recently – saying defending champs get more than half a million in some spots – and Paul agreed.
“It sucks, and it’s embarrassing,” Paul said. “How can you do that to your fighter? You’re giving a birthday gift like that, but there’s no healthcare for your fighters, and you can’t pay your Flyweight Champion enough?”
Quite a few fighters chimed in on Twitter about it, which you can see in this roundup from USA Today’s MMA Junkie blog.
And, once again, Paul is on their side.
“There has to be some change here, and the more we talk about it, the more we raise awareness,” Paul said. “The more we fight back, the more pressure they’ll be under to pay their fighters more. I feel bad for the champion, and right now, it sucks.”
Paul ended his impassioned rant with an urge to White himself to foster change:
“Dana White, if you’re listening to this…bro, you really need to re-evaluate yourself, and take a hard look in the mirror.”