UFC president Dana White versus YouTuber Jake Paul: the most unexpected feud of 2021?
Ahead of UFC 262 on May 15, 2021, the UFC president spoke with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. During the interview, White was asked for his thoughts on “The Problem Child.” Paul has repeatedly taken shots at some of the biggest names in the fight world, including Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather and Nate Diaz. He has also spoken about White on several occasions, claiming that the UFC president owes him $1 million for his victory over Ben Askren in April.
White realizes that Paul has done an effective job making a name for himself in the combat sports world. He’s 3-0 as a licensed pro boxer and is coming off a first-round TKO win over Askren, who is a former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion. His victories, coupled with his social media savviness and trolling, have made The Problem Child one of the most talked-about figures.
“You cannot deny the fact that this kid has inserted himself into the conversation with real guys,” White said of Paul. “This guy’s got three fights. He’s got three fights”
“I don’t know if I truly believe the Ben Askren thing,” White continued. “I have a hard time wrapping my brain around that.”
White then said that at some point, Paul’s “15 minutes” of fame will be up one day.
“It’s interesting… to see how long it takes for this kid’s 15 minutes is up,” White said. “But, they’re being smart. They’re keeping him away from anybody that could actually really do (damage). And I don’t know, the Ben Askren thing still blows my mind.”
Okamoto then asked White if he would consider “loaning” a UFC fighter to box Paul. A boxing match with the likes of Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, who are both under contract with the UFC, would likely attract the attention of millions and do massive PPV numbers.
However, the UFC president confirmed that he has no intention of dealing with The Problem Child.
“I would never do business with those guys,” White said. “No, just not what we do. We’re going to loan them a guy? For what? There’s no way. You’ve got plenty of goofballs out there that you can muster up to get in there and play these games these guys are playing. I’m not your guy.”
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Paul Responded to White’s Comments the Next Day
On Tuesday, Paul posted to Instagram a photo of himself on what appears to be a private jet, as well as a clip of White’s ESPN interview. He wrote, “Enjoying my 15 minutes of fame.”
It’s important to note that Paul has been famous for much longer than he’s been picking fights with fighters. He has a massive YouTube following with over 20 million subscribers, as well as an impactful social media following.
The Problem Child also took to Twitter the same morning and wrote, “Dana White pays his ring girls more than his fighters.”
A few hours later, The Problem Child hit White again. “Dear Dana, In my 15 minutes of fame I’ve done more in boxing than you have your whole life,” Paul wrote. “Dana White Boxing Career: You were a boxercise instructor. Your boxing reality show got cancelled after one episode. Zuffa Boxing died before it even started.”
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Paul Has Ripped White for Fighter Pay Before
It’s not the first time Paul has taken issue with fighter pay. On April 25, Paul shared a lengthy statement slamming the UFC president for not paying fighters “their fair share.”
Dana, you claimed you would bet $1M on me losing. Set up Askren to train with Freddie Roach… gave him full access to the UFCPI (Performance Institute)… and he still got his a** handed to him. Seems like you are the real douche… not Ariel (Helwani).
In my 3rd fight I made more money in total pay than any fighter in UFC history. Maybe it’s time to pay your fighters their fair share? No wonder they all want to get into boxing. Dana you say you make the fights the fans want to see… so hurry up and make (Jon) Jones vs. (Francis) Ngannou. Pay them their fair share… $10M purse for each guy, plus PPV (points).
Why are UFC fighters so underpaid vs Boxers? Why did I make more in my 3rd fight than all but two (Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and Conor (McGregor)) UFC fighters have in history. I know why…