Paul seems primarily focused on embarrassing MMA fighters and UFC president Dana White, with his last three victories (2 KOs) against UFC veterans. But what is his true motive? The ongoing beef with the UFC president could hold the answers.
The younger Paul brother is no stranger to haters from both MMA and boxing communities. Professional fighters on both sides want to either shut him up or ignore him, discrediting him as a boxer altogether.
The most recent media attention has come from the mixed martial arts community after the vicious knockout of MMA great Tyron Woodley.
In 2017, social media influencers decided to step in the ring. The results tipped boxing on its head, causing it to become more mainstream. With Covid-19 limiting sporting events in 2020, exhibition-style boxing has seen a significant surge in popularity, reaching a whole new audience.The Paul brothers took the lead with this new brand of boxing, with Jake being the more outspoken, controversial, and polished boxer. Some sports analysts agree that he’s brought boxing is back from the dead.
In his first two fights, he defeated other YouTubers that didn't garner much attention. But his knockout of ex-NBA player Nate Robinson, at 1:24 of the second round in 2020, put the world on notice.
Former ONE champion and 36-year-old UFC welterweight Ben Askren was his next fight after going back and forth over social media. The fight was held on April 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Only months removed from hip surgery, Askren looked unmotivated and out of shape. Paul easily won the bout via TKO at 1:59 seconds of the first round.
The next UFC fighter to fall victim to Paul would be 39-year-old former welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley. A prefight locker room argument between Woodley and a member of Paul's camp would initiate a contract with Paul as Woodley was set to avenge Askren, his long-time friend, and wrestling partner.
Woodley would go on to lose a split decision and suffer a brutal KO in the rematch. A confident Paul would call out Connor McGregor, Nate Diaz, and Jorge Masvidal during the post-fight interview.
UFC fighters, including White scoffed at Paul's call-outs and criticized him for picking his fights and avoiding professional boxers in his weight class. Both White and Paul have been arguing over fighter pay on social media for months, with White accusing Paul of steroid use and Paul accusing White of being a cocaine user.
Paul asked the UFC president why he doesn't pay his fighters like professional boxers, a question many have been asking in recent years, including fighters currently on the UFC roster. In July, Jake Paul reignited the beef with White in a blistering attack regarding the same topic.
He asked why he earned more than any other UFC star in history except Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov in his third boxing match?
White dismissed Paul's claims by saying the social media sensation lied about his PPV numbers. He said: "I don't believe anything they say. None of that is real. "He knocked out an NBA guy that was 40 years old and 30 pounds less than him. I don't even know what to think about the Askren thing. "C'mon, man. I built a real business here, a real sport."
White was again criticized by the YouTuber turned boxer on New Year's day via Twitter and offered an interesting challenge.
As part of his proposal, he wants White to raise minimum fighter pay to $50,000 and to guarantee that half of the UFC's revenue will go to its fighters. Paul said he would immediately retire from boxing and accept a one-fight contract to fight Jorge Masvidal if White agrees to his three demands.
The Tweet read, "To all UFC fighters — time to take a stand and create value for yourselves and peers." "You deserve higher pay, you deserve long term health, and above all you deserve freedom. Support each other. I am not your enemy, I am your advocate … who selfishly wants to KO a few of you to make some big bank."
Paul told White that he has five days to accept these terms and must be implemented by the end of March 2022.
White responded in a video message, "That thing you came out with today. Nobody on Earth thinks that you really wrote that. You're too stupid." He then called Paul's manager a scumbag and questioned his ability to sell pay-per-views.
Last year White reported that the UFC was worth an estimated $9 to $10 billion. According to sportskeeda, his net worth in 2021 was $500 million with an annual salary of $20 million.
These are huge numbers when considering the company was initially purchased for $2 million in 2001. Thesportsdaily.com reports that UFC fighters who are relatively unknown earn less than $45,000 as of 2020 and could earn as low as $9,000 per fight.
Despite his controversial antics regarding UFC fighters and Dana White, Paul's message has been firm from the beginning. He's constantly criticized White's pay structure and lack of medical security for its fighters when their fighting days are over.
Therefore, the question remains. Is Jake Paul just a YouTube clown trolling Dana White and the MMA community? Or is he really Robin Hood, trying to steal excess wealth from King Dana and give it to the octagon warriors who have made him rich? You decide.