Among the major end-of-year stories to hit the combat sports world has been the rise of Jake and Logan Paul. The two YouTube personalities have turned their attention to the boxing world for a series of sideshow-esque fights with other pseudo-celebrities. And while the product of those bouts hasn’t been notable for the talent or technique on display, they’ve unquestionably found an invested audience—who want to see if the Pauls either humiliate or get humiliated by their opponents.
Off the back of that successful branding, the brothers have turned their attention to calling out MMA talents. Fighters like Ben Askren, Dillon Danis, and Conor McGregor have been targeted for potential crossover bouts. While two division champ Amanda Nunes made her own call-out for a fight against Jake. There’s clearly money to be made, with the younger Paul even offering $50 million to McGregor if the Irishman would be willing to step into the ring against him.
However, if fighters under UFC contract are hoping to get a piece of that action, it sounds like they’re going to have a lot of trouble convincing company president Dana White to buy in. In a recent interview with SHOUT! The Buffalo Football Podcast, White made it clear that he’s got zero interest doing business with either Jake or Logan Paul.
“The answer to that question is, who gives a (expletive)?” White said, when asked about the Paul Brothers (transcript via MMA Junkie). “Neither one of those guys can fight. It’s all a big gimmick. Like I said in a (recent) press conference, there’s a market for that. If people are dumb enough to spend their money watching that (expletive), I don’t know what to tell you. Good luck to them. I (couldn’t) care less what that guy (does). I get it. He’s trying to make some money and is doing his thing. There are people who want to spend money on that. I’m not that guy.”
While White seems to give little credence to the skills of either of the Paul brothers (even going so far as to suggest that Nunes would put Jake Paul “in a coma”), the UFC certainly hasn’t been averse to the occasional sideshow booking in the past. The promotion was more than happy to play host to James Toney – for his one-off MMA bout against Randy Couture – and to CM Punk—for his comically lopsided losses to Mickey Gall and Mike Jackson.
However, if the Pauls really do have $50 million to bandy about for a potential superfight, it would put them in position to dictate practically any and all terms they want at the bargaining table. And that, more likely than anything else, is going to stop White’s interest cold.