Jake Paul launches UFC fight against Conor McGregor or Jorge Masvidal, with fighter perks on the line

Jake Paul says he would be open to fighting Conor McGregor or Jorge Masvidal once in the UFC – with some caveats.

The YouTube influencer-turned-boxer said in a statement to ESPN on Saturday that he would sign a one-fight UFC contract to face either McGregor or Masvidal in MMA with an in-play bet. Paul first tweeted about the idea Saturday morning.

Paul proposes that if he wins, the UFC must put a plan in place to pay fighters 50% of company revenue and give fighters full health care. If Paul loses, he said he would give his entire purse to UFC fighters earning less than $50,000 a fight “and I will never mention the UFC again.”

Documents cited in the antitrust lawsuit filed against the UFC put fighters’ compensation at around 18% to 20% of company revenue.

“Fighting Conor is what I want the most, but I would fight Masvidal too,” Paul said. “I know it might seem impossible to beat these guys in MMA, but when you believe in it, you can accomplish anything. I would ask for six months to train.”

The UFC has yet to respond to Paul’s speech and it would be outside the norm for the promotion to do so. But UFC President Dana White, who has publicly feuded with Paul for the past year, would not close the door on Paul one day fighting in the UFC, he said in a statement. interview earlier this year with TSN.

Paul and his team said they were serious about the proposal. In his statement, Paul mentioned wanting to emulate Marvin Miller, the longtime leader of the Major League Baseball Players Association who made the baseball players’ union one of the strongest unions in the United States. UFC fighters are non-unionized and are referred to as independent contractors.

“It’s bigger than me,” Paul said. “That’s my Marvin Miller energy.”

Paul said he would want a UFC purse to fight McGregor or Masvidal somewhere in the range of what CM Punk or Brock Lesnar were paid. Punk reportedly earned around $1 million per fight, while Lesnar’s guaranteed purse for his last fight, UFC 200 in 2016, was $2.5 million.

Paul said it would be less than what he currently earns in boxing. In 2021, Paul has beaten former UFC fighter Ben Askren and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley twice, most recently by one-punch knockout last December.

“If I lose, I would donate my winnings from the fight to fighters earning less than $50,000 per fight, with a higher share going to athletes who earn less but have been in the UFC longer,” he said. said Paul. “And I will never mention the UFC again.”

Paul said if he wins, he’d want the UFC to commit to a five-year plan that would gradually give fighters 50% of revenue, plus “year-round health care,” including benefits that accrue. would continue after a fighter’s career in the UFC “based on tenure.”

“There are no losers in this proposition,” Paul said. “UFC has a huge revenue-generating event. If I win, Dana will change the future of UFC fighters forever. If I lose, there will be a one-time bonus for a lot of fighters, MMA will no longer have need my news. and Conor [or] Jorge wins again and has to silence Jake Paul.”

Paul, 25, has never competed in MMA. He was a high school wrestler and built a lucrative boxing career, although the level of his competition was criticized. However, his considerable fame is beyond doubt, especially among young people. Paul’s boxing matches were high-profile events and his help promoting Madison Square Garden’s first-ever female boxing star – Amanda Serrano vs. Katie Taylor – led to a sellout.

Most Valuable Promotions, a company co-founded by Paul and his business partner and former UFC chief financial officer Nakisa Bidarian, represents Serrano. Bidarian said Paul is serious about his plans to do a one-fight deal in the UFC and there’s no doubt that it would be a monstrous source of income for everyone involved.

“Although the UFC business has changed significantly for the better since I was employed six years ago, I truly believe that a UFC fight between Conor and Jake on ESPN would be the biggest MMA PPV event in history,” he said. said Bidarian.

Members of the MMA community are divided over Paul’s rhetoric about helping fighters. Some fighters, trainers and managers think that’s a positive thing, whether Paul is sincere or not. Others think the social media star’s words are self-serving and won’t get anywhere.

“The spotlight he shines on MMA issues is only worth the tweets promoting it,” a prominent manager told ESPN last month. “It won’t change anything. Not even a little.