YouTuber-turned-boxer, Jake Paul, recently refuted UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou’s assertion that a fighters’ union is impossible to form.
The two have become associated thanks to advocating for better fighter pay.
Ngannou has claimed that MMA’s top organization is contractually suffocating its athletes. However, Paul is on the other end of the spectrum. He is earning millions in the boxing ring while pushing for better pay for mixed martial artists.
The Cameroonian heavyweight has been involved in a contractual disagreement with the UFC for a long time. We might see him depart at the end of the year. At the same time, he has been attacking the UFC for its pay structure on social media and in interviews.
Ngannou’s brazen attitude has cost his manager Marquel Martin on another front. Kevin Lee was rumored to have been released as a retaliation to Martin. Martin was also previously employed by the UFC – as was Jake Paul’s manager Nakisa Bidarian.
According to Ngannou’s statements during an interview on The Shop with Paul, it doesn’t seem that much progress has been made to accommodate his request to box.
Ngannou stated, “This contract is f**ked up.” “II don’t want to sign my life to somebody who doesn’t give me something in return. That doesn’t have any responsibility, they can decide whatever they want and cut you, they aren’t even obligated to give you fights. So what is the reason of signing this kind of contract?”
Despite Paul’s identical sentiments, the two were not on the same page when it came to finding a solution. Despite Ngannou’s frequent calls for a fighters’ union, he does not think that sportsmen will band together for a common cause.
Paul was ready and eager to share his union master plan after that.
Paul elaborates on the “ultimate goal”
Julianna Pena and a number of other fighters, including Ngannou, have expressed support for the formation of a fighters’ union.
The difficulty with a union, according to the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, stems from the notion that there will always be a fighter prepared to replace the unionized athlete for less money.
According to Paul, the answer is to go on strike if the UFC takes action against union fighters.
They must enlist the help of the highest-paid sportsmen in both boxing and MMA to raise big contributions for the union. This could then be distributed among the lower-paid fighters.
Paul remarked, “My ultimate goal is to create a fighters’ union.”
He said, “It needs to be done. And it seems impossible and maybe it will be. People say, ‘Jake, how you going to create a fighter union? They’ll just shelf all the fighters in the fighters’ union.’ No, everyone comes together and we’re not fighting. We’re not fighting. That’s how they do it. There’s writer’s guilds, director’s guilds.”
“’ll call upon the 10 highest-paid boxers and the 10 highest-paid people from the UFC. ‘Yo why can’t you donate $200,000 to the union to help pay these fighters for these six months?’ Are you that selfish? Floyd Mayweather, Canelo, who make $50 million for a fight. Canelo, you can’t donate $200,000 to this union?”
Paul claimed he’d be prepared to contribute up to $1 million of his own money to realize his apparent fighter salary fantasy.
That vow comes as no surprise, given the way he distributed additional monies across his undercard in August.
Paul concluded, “I’ll donate $500,000, I’ll donate $1 million” “II could raise more than that. The money that we put into the union can help pay the fighters who aren’t getting paid as much in the interim.”
This is also legally questionable considering that UFC athletes are not employees – they’re classified as contractors.
Some fighters like Alexander Volkanovski, Paddy Pimblett, and Al Iaquinta, have questioned Paul’s sincerity.
However, the formation of a fighters’ union, particularly a successful one, would make it harder to condemn him.