Dana White hasn’t been tight-lipped about his disdain for Jake Paul and the attention he is receiving from the media. He even expressed interest in putting big money on Ben Askren before backtracking from these remarks after Askren’s first-round KO loss to Paul.
White isn’t the only one who isn’t on the Jake Paul bandwagon. There was just an arena full of people chanting “Fuck Jake Paul” last night, 15,000-plus strong. But even though Paul was showered with hate at UFC 261, the fact remains he is pulling in big money. His boxing match against Ben Askren is reported to have netted 1.2-1.6 million buys. With all the attention and the money being drawn to Paul, would White be open to doing business with the YouTuber turned boxing sensation? Hell to the no.
“You’re getting me talking about this fuckin’ guy again,” White moaned before diving into his rant at the UFC 261 post-fight press conference. “He’s getting handpicked opponents and God knows what else is goin’ on with that whole fuckin’ thing. There is a market for that. That’s not what I do. That is not what I do. People want to see that. People want to see it, and it’s great. This kid’s gonna make a couple bucks before this ride is over. And it’s just not what I do. What I do is what happened tonight. What happened tonight is we sold this place out, and it was packed.”
People who are old enough to remember CM Punk’s run in the UFC just a few years ago may have something to say about that and utter back in their best Mark Henry impression, “That’s what you do!” White, though, seems to draw the line at a 3-0 boxer as opposed to a former pro wrestler with zero fight experience.
But would White really have no interest in linking up with Jake Paul despite all the money that could be made? White assures the public that his interest will remain locked at zilch. And about those numbers reported for the widely purchased Paul/Askren PPV? White isn’t buying it.
“And the numbers that you’re hearing that they did are full of shit. They’re full of shit, OK?” White barked at reporters. “They didn’t pull those kind of numbers at all, not even fuckin’ close. What happened here tonight is what I do: the best versus the best. There is a market for that. People want to see that stuff, and that kid’s gonna make a couple bucks. And good for him. That’s not what I do.
“I’ve built a real business here, a real sport. That’s a freak show.”
Would you be interested in seeing the UFC do business with Jake Paul in the future?