MMA Union is a logistical nightmare – in no small part due to the big treasure chest it would require just to start up.
Recently Jake Paul disclosed some of his plans – for which he enlisted UFC veterans Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.
“We’re going to raise $50 million, and the fighters who are fighting check [to] check — we will fund them so they don’t have to be obedient to the UFC,” Paul said. “We will fund their salaries or their career earnings.”
At the press conference following win over Anderson Silva, Paul explained he’s planning to undermine Dana White’s business:
“now, we’re going to band together and create a united fighters association to help UFC fighters, all MMA fighters and boxers to get more pay, long-term healthcare, and that’s a big undertaking that I’ve been wanting to do for the whole entire time of my career, since I met Nakisa, I said it him on the first day, I said I wanted to start a fighter’s union.”
Paul was referencing former UFC CFO Nakisa Bidarian in this one. Bidarian is Paul’s partner in Most Valuable Promotion.
MMA journalist John Nash previously estimated that one would need between 150 and 200 million to cover athlete’s compensation in a single year, following the UFC model.
There’s a number of significant issues caked into MMA – from lack of medical insurance to lack of retirement planning.
UFC famously compensates the athletes with just 20% of revenue an event brings in – this is in stark contrast to mainstream sports like Basketball or Baseball where the share is 50%. Not to mention that athletes don’t compensate the coaching staff and medical costs on their own – it’s covered by the team.
Jake Paul might have an extra hurdle to overcome in his quest – according to MMA’s most prominent journalist Ariel Helwani:
“Being Jake Paul doesn’t make it easier. Because on the one hand, you’re feuding with these guys and on the other hand, you’re trying to get them onboard [with the fighters’ union]. It’s tough, ’cause now you have people who think, ‘You’re disrespecting our legends.’ So that doesn’t really mesh with trying to bring everyone together.”