Demetrious Johnson is often included in the greatest of all-time (G.O.A.T.) conversation, and he sees no issue with social influencers like Jake Paul and Logan Paul making money off combat sports.
Johnson, the former long-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion, argued that some Internet stars like the Paul brothers are investing their online earnings into genuine and authentic fight camps.
“When you have unlimited money, when you have millions of dollars and you don’t have to do a 9-5 job, you have the best access to the trainers, you have the best access to nutrition, you train for eight weeks for somebody, you are gonna become the product of something,” Johnson said in an interview courtesy of ONE Championship (h/t MMA Junkie). “So people think that Jake Paul, Logan Paul, they just got off the couch playing video games, that’s not the f—king case. These guys are training like full-time athletes. These guys train better than some of the professional athletes that have been in the game for five or 10 years.
“I support the YouTubers, the TikTokers and the thing is, at the end of the day it’s about making money,” he continued. “Those guys have such a big following and a lot of the athletes complain how Jake Paul, Logan Paul, those guys are making million-dollar paydays and us athletes have been in this sport for years and will never see a payday like that. The reality is your brand and your likeness or your following is what sells, and I’ve learned that from when I was in a North-America-based promotion and it’s proven to this day.”
Johnson (30-4-1) is coming off a second-round knockout loss to ONE Flyweight champion, Adriano Moraes, at ONE on TNT 1 in Kallang, Singapore on April 7, 2021 (watch highlights). “Mighty Mouse” holds notable wins over Henry Cejudo, John Dodson (twice), Joseph Benavidez (twice), Kyoji Horiguchi, Ian McCall and Tim Elliott.