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Jake Paul hits UFC over Ngannou legal threat: Imagine the NBA doing that to Lebron?

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the relationship between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its Heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, is seriously on the rocks. How bad is it going? Well, the promotion threatened to sue Ngannou’s manager hours before Ngannou was set to step into the cage against Ciryl Gane at UFC 270.

The alleged crime? Speaking to YouTuber-turned boxer Jake Paul’s manager, Nakisa Bidarian.

You don’t have to be a serious student of the fight game to understand the kind of pressure Ngannou was already under coming into UFC 270. So much was riding on this fight. It was the last fight on his current UFC contract. It turned out Ngannou was basically fighting on one leg due to a bad knee injury. And suddenly he had the added stress of UFC coming after him legally.

Doing that to your own Heavyweight champion on fight night? That’s messed up.

It’s stuff like this that gives Jake Paul ample ammunition to fire at UFC and its President, Dana White, making them look like the bad guys. And Paul has made it clear he’ll fire every bullet he can get.

“Dana White is too busy sending out lawsuit threats to his heavyweight champions minutes before they enter the cage to fight another man,” Paul wrote in a statement to MMA Fighting. “I think he actually sent my partner [Nakisa Bidarian] the same thing at 9 p.m. that night when Dana’s supposedly being president at his big PPV event for a public company.

“Imagine if [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver sent a lawsuit to Lebron James minutes before he took the floor for the NBA Finals, then, refused to present him with the NBA championship trophy after he won. It’s pure disrespect to the athlete and the sport,” he continued.

It certainly puts into perspective what a bizarre twilight zone in which mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters exist that this kind of behavior barely generates surprise anymore. Dana White’s reputation as an effective leader of UFC comes along with a nasty reputation as a vengeful enemy you don’t want to cross. Fighters and rival promotions alike have learned to their detriment what happens when they get on his bad side, and for the last 20 years few have gone tete-a-tete with White and come out on top.

Just ask Mark Hunt.

That’s a big part of what makes Jake Paul’s war with White so fascinating. Lawsuits notwithstanding, Paul exists largely outside White’s sphere of control. His newly released diss track is just one more sign that he’s not letting up on the offense. But, it’s his stated goal of buying into UFC via stocks that’s really interesting (full details here).

“My fund has invested in his company’s stock and I will be working to expose his constant exploitative practices, starting by putting out this song with all proceeds going directly to fighter causes.”