I think we all know that the Paul brothers combined with a ravenous media is what inspired this all to begin in the first place. Well, that and the fact that Jake Paul seems to really enjoy calling out washed up MMA fighters to challenge him in a sport that they have never really fully trained in.
Lately, a war of words has been going on between the Paul brothers (mostly Jake) and Dana White where Jake constantly rips Dana White over the poor pay scale that a majority of UFC fighters end up making. I can't believe I am going about to say this, but if Jake's sentiment is real, I actually agree with Jake Paul on this one.
No one can argue the marketing prowess of either of these people: Dana White took an industry that was dying a slow death and made it the most popular fighting sport in the world; Jake Paul made a very lucrative sport out of a sport that didn't exist.
Jake also constantly pokes the tiger by bashing White on a regular basis about how the UFC fighters are paid peanuts and urges a lot of them to come and fight where the money is.
I have said on a regular basis that for a vast majority of fighters in the UFC as well as other MMA brands live lives of relative poverty. Most of them who don't make it to the top, and even some of them that do, get sent out to pasture after the brutal industry is done with them only to find that they are broke as a joke in under a decade.
Sure, a lot of this has to do with their own poor money-management skills but if you look at the payouts, even from major pay-per-view events in UFC, the pay that the fighters get is not impressive at all when you consider other sports.
To the average person like me, and probably you as well, these look like pretty great payouts for a single day but if you think like that, you are not looking at the bigger picture. All of these competitors have to provide their own coaches and own training facilities at their own expense. Many of them provide their own transport and all of them have to look after their own living expenses. Many up and coming fighters who cannot afford training will sign on with a training team in a contract that ensures that up to 25% of all winnings will go to the team, not to the fighter. Then we have taxes to deal with and this can be up to 50% depending on what state the fights take place in.
These are just the top fights too, when we get down to the undercards we start seeing much much lower salaries.
Outside of pay per views, we see salaries that barely break $10,000 and considering that your average fighter in UFC only gets a maximum of 3 fights per year, there is a really good chance that you make more money than a guy that is on TV.
This is what Jake Paul claims his "beef" with Dana White is - which I kind of doubt since almost everything that Jake and Logan do is actually self-serving.
Jake Paul has claimed recently that he will "retire from boxing" if Dana White increases the salary of the UFC fighters and Dana has foolishly played right into Jake's hands by even bothering to respond to him. Dana has claimed that Jake and his brother Logan are not subjected to PED testing - and I don't even know if this is true or not.
Jake does have a point about Dana White being stingy with the fight purses and we are starting to see many ex UFC fighters come out to point the finger and UFC and encourage prospective UFC fighters to not get involved with the promotion. There was a time when fighters were allowed to secure their own sponsors for a fee, but White put a stop to this and made Reebok and a few others the only sponsors allowed. Fighters were then given a certain percentage of this sponsorship money but come on, we all know where the lion's share of that money is actually going.
Dana White is probably a billionaire. On paper it says his net worth is around 750 million but we all know how good rich people are at hiding their money from the tax man. I think that Jake has a really good point here. I still think the guy is an idiot and he is only provoking Dana in order to keep his own name in the news but seriously - when you have a vast majority of the UFC fighters retiring with very little to show for it other than chronic pain, there is something seriously wrong with the industry.