Like many, UFC president Dana White was caught up in the whirlwind that was the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren boxing match. In the lead-up to the match, White expressed interest in putting a wager in the fight. White said that he was going to place one million dollars on Ben Askren winning the fight. This opinion drew some heat from fans and Paul himself who called out White. Paul beat Askren in the first round but White didn’t lose any money after all.
“Let me make it clear right here to everybody. I have never made an illegal bet, ever,” White told Yahoo Sports. “I did not make an illegal bet on Saturday night. I did not bet 2 million dollars with Snoop or anybody.”
After the win, Paul took it upon himself to call out White and mock him for this “bet” that he was going to make. White and Askren have had a love/hate relationship over the years but after White finally brought Askren into the UFC the two have been friendly. White thought Askren could have pulled off the win, but now that he was seen what Paul can do, he can appreciate Paul and his persona.
“This is the right guy (Paul) with the right shtick at the right time,” White said. “This guy is playing this thing perfectly. And boxing is in such a bad place, they’re doing a really good job at sucking in people to buy into this thing. And good for him.”
White can certainly appreciate the sort of fame Paul has received as a result of his fighting and personality, it is reminiscent of Conor McGregor when he was coming up in the UFC. White took what McGregor was doing and ran with it at the time and it has made them both very rich. Perhaps White will be willing to do the same with Paul if he ever wants to make the cross over to the UFC.
Do you think we will ever see Dana White and Jake Paul working together?