The mixed martial arts holidays are officially over as yesterday was a huge news day despite there being no major events until January 14th. The PFL and Jake Paul started the year strong with an announcement that Paul would compete in MMA later this year. Paul issued a challenge to free agent Nate Diaz: a fight in the boxing ring, and then a fight in the PFL Smartcage (are we really sticking with that?) six months later.
Diaz currently sounds more interested in ticking ‘Fight in Japan’ off his bucket list, so who knows if that will happen. But the PFL is clearly hoping their new ‘Super Fight Division’ which pays at least 50+ percent of PPV proceeds to its fighters will draw in some needle movers.
It’s a pretty decent split considering UFC fighters are used to making three or four bucks per PPV once the event sells over a couple hundred thousand.
That didn’t stop Conor McGregor from trashing Jake Paul for what he considers a poor financial decision.
“Numbnuts gave away 50% of a future purse if he does an MMA bout? Wow. What an idiot,” McGregor wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “Joint partnership what? For what you Wally. Wally.”
On the surface, McGregor is right: it IS a bit odd that Jake Paul is essentially handing control and a big chunk of his paycheck to the PFL. His boxing bouts were held under Most Valuable Promotions, Paul’s own promotion company, meaning he’s the boss and calls the shots on where all the money coming in gets spent.
But we don’t know the specifics of the PFL deal. Paul could have it set up so he still makes the same amount of money he would under past MVP events, without the same level of commitment or overhead. And it’s not like he was keeping 100% of the money before. His past promotional partners Triller and Showtime were always taking a cut.
And speaking of taking a cut, McGregor may be the highest paid MMA fighter in the history of the sport, but he’s also made the UFC more money than any other fighter in the history of the sport. Conor McGregor is wildly underpaid considering what he generates for the UFC. Out of the reported $550 million Forbes claims Mayweather vs. McGregor made in 2017, Mayweather got $280 million while McGregor earned $130 million. How much of the other $145 million went right to the UFC for simply allowing Conor to compete? Did it add up to fifty percent? Wow.
I’m going to slice through someone on return. Trust that. And I don’t care who. Line up.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 6, 2023
That may be why McGregor is sounding eager to stop fussing about opponents and just get the last two fights on his UFC contract done with. In another tweet (this one undeleted for the moment), McGregor declared “I’m going to slice through someone on return. Trust that. And I don’t care who. Line up.”