At this point, Jake Paul’s feud with Dana White is one of the most notable battles in combat sports. The celebrity pugilist and social media star has found a willing combatant in the UFC president for his war of words, as he picks at both White and the world’s largest MMA promotion for their notably poor revenue split between athletes and company.
The latest entry in this battle comes courtesy of a Jake Paul diss track, where the ‘Problem Child’ highlighted his thoughts on UFC’s business practices with lines like “underpaid fights / where’s the healthcare rights / got em riskin all they lives and they can’t quit.”
It may not be the catchiest set of bars on God’s green earth, but, according to Paul he’s been hearing the love. And not just from fans. In a recent interview with the MMA Hour, Paul revealed that he’s had a lot of high profile UFC fighters reach out to him in support as well (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“There a lot of fighters — a lot of big fighters in the UFC — who message me privately and say, ‘We love this, this is hilarious. Keep on going, but I can’t support this publicly.’”
“I don’t want them to sacrifice,” Paul added, speaking on whether he wanted more public support from those fighters. “They have to put food on their family’s table. Like I said earlier, I happen to have a platform to be able to do this. So I accept the responsibility and I’m going to do it. I’ve made that decision. I’m going to war and I’m not backing down no matter what happens. I don’t need the fighters in the UFC to support this.
“Behind the scenes, it would be great for them to support it and talk about it and push for these movements, and obviously if there’s a fighters’ union created, everyone in the UFC should join it to create power and to create a better position for themselves and a better life for themselves. But I don’t need them to support a diss track or anything like that publicly, because they’re just going to f-ck themselves over, and I don’t want that. I want them to win and make more money.”
As well as his thoughts on this diss track and maintaining his public feud with White, Paul claimed multiple times throughout the interview that he was truly, seriously dedicated to the goal of improving fighter pay in the UFC. “We’re talking to lawyers to begin a process to start a fighter’s union,” Paul revealed, adding that he’s spending a lot of his own time and money behind the scenes on this passion project.
Whether or not the end result winds up as anything truly meaningful for the athletes currently fighting inside the Octagon remains to be seen. But, for the moment, at least, Paul is providing a lot of drama to the MMA sphere, and keeping the subject of fighter pay front and center.