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Dana White congratulates ‘right guy with the right shtick’ Jake Paul, also threatens legal action

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The UFC boss had a couple backhanded compliments for Jake Paul, following his victory over Ben Askren, but also offered up a stern warning, to stop trying to poach UFC talent.

Dana White speaks to the media ahead of a UFC Fight Night event.
Dana White speaks to the media ahead of a UFC Fight Night event.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Whether or not Triller actually came close to their rumored 1.4 million PPV buys, the event appeared to have been a solid success for the upstart celebrity boxing promotion. At the very least, Ben Askren took home the biggest payday of his career, and it seems likely that Jake Paul will walk away with several million dollars in PPV revenue.

It may not be pretty and it may not be competitive, but Triller is putting together events that appear to grab fan attention. It’s a style of success that UFC president Dana White suggested is both indicative of boxing’s failings and of Paul’s savvy.

“This is the right guy with the right shtick at the right time,” White told Yahoo! Sports in a recent interview (transcript via BJPenn.com). “This guy is playing this thing perfectly. And boxing is in such a bad place, they’re doing a really good job at sucking in people to buy into this thing. And good for him.”

Just because White has a few (semi) supportive words for Paul though, doesn’t mean he wants to encourage the YouTuber-turned-fighter to keep picking fights with MMA talents. Especially not if those talents are currently under UFC contract.

“Why don’t you go fight a fucking boxer?” White responded when asked about Jake Paul’s new beef with Daniel Cormier and Tyron Woodley (transcript via MMA Mania). “What the fuck do these guys keep talking to UFC guys for? I’m gonna have to slap them with another fucking legal letter, these fucking idiots. Go talk to fucking boxers. What are you doing?”

That should put the kibosh on any potential future Jake Paul vs. Conor McGregor boxing match talk, at least for the immediate future. But, if Paul wants to keep picking away at a potential bout with the Irish sports star, and racking up a winning record in the process, it seems likely he’ll keep his sights set on MMA fighters looking to crossover from the cage to the ring and just maybe a career payday in the process.