Jake Paul issued a challenege to Dana White and the UFC this week, calling for a fight with superstar Conor McGregor in the octagon.
To no surprise, White didn’t sound optimistic that the fight would ever happen, but he left the door open during a spot on the Impaulsive podcast with Logan Paul — the older brother of Jake Paul.
“I’m never completely closed off to anything,” White said. “I used to say that about things, but I don’t say that anymore, because you never know. You never know what could happen. … Listen, he’s a young kid out there trying to make some money, and I don’t fault anybody for that.”
Paul issued the challenge to White on March 12, calling for a one-fight deal with high stakes.
“Dana – Since you like me now, how about a 1 fight UFC deal to fight Conor. If I win, you agree to my UFC fighter pay and healthcare proposal. If I lose I donate my entire purse to all UFC fighters who make less than $50K a fight and never mention UFC again. Deal?”
Dana White Says Weightclass Issue With McGregor Fight
Jake Paul has never competed in MMA, only bringing his questionable boxing credentials and high school wrestling career to the table. Paul, 25, is 5-0 in his boxing career, with knockouts of former UFC fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley on his resume.
Paul has said he wants either McGregor most, but would also take a scrap against Jorge Masvidal.
“Fighting Conor is what I want most, but would fight Masvidal as well,” Paul said. “I know it might seem impossible to beat these guys in MMA, but when you believe, you can achieve anything. I would ask for six months to train.”
White’s sticking point is that McGregor is not the same size as Paul, who has competed at cruiserweight (190 pounds) in his fights. McGregor has competed at as low as 145 pounds in the featherweight division and moved up to 170 pounds to take on Nate Diaz, which was a stretch, per White.
“Well, he shouldn’t even be fighting Conor McGregor,” White said, via MMA Fighting. “These guys [the Pauls] are f–king huge. [Logan] is huge, his brother [Jake] is huge. What’s your brother, 6-foot-1, 210? Conor McGregor is 145 or 155 pounds. … There’s weight classes for a reason.”
Jake Paul responded to White’s statement on Twitter, telling the UFC boss to stop making excuses.
“Dana White is begging for Diaz and Conor to fight for a third time…they have fought at 170 pounds in both their fights I will fight Conor at 175 pounds, no problem. Stop making excuses pussies.”
Dana White Not Off-Put by Jake Paul’s Approach
White and Paul have gone back and forth over the years, very publicly at times. But White noted that he doesn’t hate Paul for his hustle and actually respects his approach to promoting the fights.
“It was never off-putting to me,” White said. “In this business, it’s about attention. How much attention can you get? But more importantly, who gives a s–t? Who cares that you’re going to fight this guy on Saturday night? You’ve got to make people care. You’ve got to make people stay home. They have a lot of different choices on Saturday, what to do with their time — you’ve got to make them stay home and pay for it. And everybody has a different style of doing that.”
So while a fight for Paul in the UFC still seems far off, the sides at least appear to have a certain amount of respect for one another — for now, at least.
‘We have the most successful combat sports business of all time; what we do is completely different to what him and his brother [Logan] are doing,” White said.