Jake Paul is still pushing Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to make some serious life-changing adjustments.
The 26-year-old “Problem Child” Paul has been vocal about his feelings toward fighter treatment in the top promotion in mixed martial arts (MMA), specifically when it comes to compensation. In 2022, Paul aided with the fight camp of former UFC Flyweight prospect, Sarah Alpar, and has since been working on creating a union alongside the legendary Anderson Silva.
A simple first step in the right direction would be increasing the base pay for debuting and newer fighters, believes the YouTuber-turned boxer.
“The fighter minimum in the UFC is $12,500,” Paul said on Hot Boxin’ with Mike Tyson. “It should be at least $50,000. If they made it $50,000, that would change the smaller fighters’ lives in a big, big, big, big way. They wouldn’t have to work other jobs, they could afford gym fees, they could afford the proper food. Right now, they’re working other jobs barely scraping by and if they changed the fighter minimum to $50,000 per fight, it would only cost the UFC $20 million per year. But that $20 million would be going into the smaller fighters’ pockets and it’s the world of a difference.
“Meanwhile, they’re making $3 billion,” he continued. “This is why I’ve picked this fight with him (UFC President, Dana White) ... they’re not guaranteed these fights, by the way. So, if you’re a small fighter it’s like random and then they’re like, ‘Oh, here. You have to do this fight to keep your UFC contract alive. Here’s this fight, it’s $12,500 and you might only fight once or twice in a year.’ So, yes, that’s why they have to work other jobs and to me that’s crazy.”
Paul and White haven’t seen eye-to-eye on the subject whenever each is presented with it. With success continuing to find the promotion, however, Paul is willing to put himself in front of the hypothetical bullet to make a change. This, of course, presumably wouldn’t be possible as Paul is currently under contract with Professional Fighters League (PFL), expecting to make his MMA debut in 2024.
“If they at least get one fight a year for $50,000 then they could just focus on that and it’s gonna make the sport a better place,” Paul said. “More people training full time, their skills are gonna be advanced, more exciting fights. It’s such a small expense for them that would seriously change the game and I’ve said I’m down to fight someone in the UFC, you don’t even have to pay me. Just change the fighter minimum from $12,500 to $50,000 and to me it’s easy. No long-term healthcare, all these things.
“At first, what he’s done for the sport is incredible,” he concluded. “Like kudos. We all appreciate it. We love MMA. But now that this sport and this league is the most profitable league in all of sports, pay your fighters more than 15 percent of the revenue.”
Paul most recently picked up his seventh career win in eight boxing matches, defeating Nate Diaz via a unanimous decision (watch highlights) in Dallas, Texas, earlier this month (Aug. 5, 2023).