While some have questioned the sincerity of Jake Paul’s attacks on how the UFC pays and treats its fighters, former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith is not one of those people.
Smith believes Paul’s claims that he is a friend and an “advocate” for the UFC fighters comes from a desire to see the fighters get paid better and obtain healthcare.
“I think he’s being honest,” Anthony Smith said on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation (via MMA Fighting). “I think he actually does care. Here’s the deal, we’ve had these movements where people talk about fighter pay and blah, blah, blah - it’s always people that it benefits, and I’m not meaning just fighters. In the history of the sport we’ve had people come from the outside and they want to seem like they’re some savior and they’re gonna come in and they’re gonna save us and help us, but at the end of the day, every single one of those guys has had their own endgame. Jake Paul has nothing to gain here, so I think do believe it, it does sound genuine, because it’s a pain in the ass. It’s hard to do and he’s still attacking it. He’s continually bringing it up for months and months and he’s not letting it go.”
Paul has hit some of the right chords when it comes to fighter pay, but he has also made things personal in his arguments about the UFC’s business practices, for instance, accusing the UFC president Dana White of using cocaine.
Paul might be genuine in his efforts to put a spotlight on fighter pay, but he also might be making waves to keep his name in the media. One thing Paul could do outside of offering challenges and ultimatums is show solidarity and support for those who are behind the antitrust lawsuit against the UFC. If Paul takes steps toward solutions it would show that he is earnest in his actions.