Dana White isn’t buying Jake Paul’s activist stand on UFC fighter pay.
The UFC president is confident the YouTube star-turned boxer is just looking to grab public attention and boost his own profile with his criticisms of the UFC’s fighter compensation as well as their restrictive fighter contracts. White believes Paul’s desire to fight in the UFC in exchange for fair pay for its fighters is really just a plot to fight in the UFC to maximize his earning potential.
“Jake is the exact opposite of (Logan Paul),” White said on The Pivot Podcast. “He likes to stir sh*t up, butt heads, and all that stuff. It’s attention 101. It’s textbook how to get attention.
“I just take it for what it is. And the media like to print it – not the real media, the goofy internet guys – they like to use what he says because they’re looking for clicks. But at the end of the day, that kid wants to fight here. He doesn’t want to fight here because he doesn’t think we really don’t pay guys, he wants to fight here because he knows this is where the money is regardless of what he says.”
At the beginning of 2022, Paul put a deal to White online, which essentially traded him putting an end to his boxing career for a one-fight UFC deal and better fighter pay for UFC fighters. Beyond a UFC move, Paul has expressed plenty of interest in fighting in MMA at some point in his combat sports career.
White never addressed the challenge and he wasn’t asked about it during his appearance on “The Pivot Podcast,” but he did leave the door open for a potential Paul debut inside the octagon.
“I would never say never,” White said. “I don’t know. I look at it sometimes and it’s kind of intriguing, but it goes against what I do. I really do bring the best of the best in. And I’ve tried to do a couple of those celebrity things with a couple of WWE guys and some worked, some didn’t, but I wouldn’t say no. I did Mayweather-McGregor when I said I would never do it, so who knows.”
Paul, 25, fought three times in 2021, defeating former UFC fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley. Paul knocked out Askren, then won a split decision against Woodley before knocking him out in their December rematch. Paul has yet to book a fight for 2022.