Jake Paul has been talking about UFC fighter pay a lot ... and now he’s going further and talking about spearheading a fighter’s union.
Paul showed up alongside Francis Ngannou for an episode of The Shop, where they discussed issues with UFC’s pay structure and how the promotion treats fighters.
“This is the most dangerous sport in the world and UFC makes billions of dollars a year and they’re only paying the fighters 15 percent of that,” Paul said. “Ari Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor, his salary was more than the entire UFC roster. So, as far as them risking their lives for $10,000 there’s no long term healthcare. So for me I saw it as a problem, and I’m one of the people who can use their platform to speak up about it.
“Because a lot of fighters in the UFC are scared to say something because the UFC can just shelve them,” he continued. “I’m one of the very few people that doesn’t need Dana necessarily and I started talking about it and it got a whole bunch of momentum and I was like ‘Yeah okay, I’m going to keep talking about this.’ And now more and more people are talking about this.”
“This contract is f—ked up,” Ngannou added. “I don’t want to sign my life to somebody who doesn’t give me something in return. That doesn’t have any responsibility, they can decide whatever they want and cut you, they aren’t even obligated to give you fights. So what is the reason of signing this kind of contract?”
“In boxing, the Heavyweight champion of the world makes $32 million to fight,” Paul said. “This is public information, [Francis] is making $700,000 to fight. So that’s where the discrepancy is. Can nobody see that that is f—ked up!”
While Ngnanou and Paul agreed that something has to change, they couldn’t agree on how that change could come about. Paul suggested UFC fighters could band together, while Ngannou flatly replied, “No, they cannot.”
“My ultimate goal is to create a fighter’s union,” Paul declared. “It needs to be done. And it seems impossible and maybe it will be. People say ‘Jake, how you going to create a fighter union? They’ll just shelf all the fighters in the fighter’s union.’ No, everyone comes together and we’re not fighting. We’re not fighting. That’s how they do it. There’s writer’s guilds, director’s guilds.”
“I’ll call upon the 10 highest-paid boxers and the 10 highest-paid people from the UFC. ‘Yo why can’t you donate $200,000 to the union to help pay these fighters for these six months?’ Are you that selfish? Floyd Mayweather, Canelo, who make $50 million for a fight. Canelo, you can’t donate $200,000 to this union?”
“I’ll donate $500,000, I’ll donate $1 million,” Paul concluded. “I could raise more than that. The money that we put into the union can help pay the fighters who aren’t getting paid as much in the interim.”
What do you think, Maniacs? Does Jake Paul’s union plan sound solid, or is it all impossible given the state of solidarity amongst UFC fighters?