Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Cris Cyborg Shows Support for Jake Paul’s UFC Fighter Pay Crusade

Bellator women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg has thrown her weight behind Jake Paul’s “movement” to achieve fairer pay for UFC fighters.

The former UFC featherweight champ, who fought seven times under the franchise between 2016 and 2019, has been a vocal critic of UFC President Dana White in the past. The duo’s relationship has been marked by a history of verbal mud-slinging from both sides. 

Following her devastating title loss to Amanda Nunes — the last fight on Cyborg’s UFC contract — the 35-year-old Brazilian became a free agent after White stated he would not be matching any of her competing offers, with many speculating her controversial relationship with White a contributing factor.

Shortly thereafter, in September 2019, Cyborg signed with Bellator in what company president, Scott Coker, described at the time as “the biggest contract in women’s MMA history.”

Cyborg vs Nunes
PHOTO: SPORTSILLUSTRATED

Cris Cyborg weighs in on UFC fighter pay debate

Now, Cyborg has tweeted her support for the growing movement, led by YouTuber-turned-boxer and fellow Dana White agitator, Jake Paul, to achieve more equitable pay for UFC fighters. The Brazilian encouraged UFC fighters to follow her path in seeing out their contract and testing their value as a free agent.

“The movement has already started. If you’re a UFC fighter you owe it to yourself to fight out your contract to learn what your true value is on the open market!” tweeted Cyborg.

Cyborg’s tweet cosigned Paul’s recent diatribe against UFC fighter pay delivered during a media event for his upcoming fight with Tyron Woodley. The YouTuber breathlessly fulminated that “UFC fighters don’t have fair pay,” before declaring, in characteristic style, “f*ck that sh*t and f*ck Dana White.”

Paulo Costa Calls Out UFC Over Fighter Pay

Paulo Costa
Paulo Costa (Photo: Buda Mendes/Zuffa)

Given Jake Paul’s history of generating publicity at all costs, notably by agitating Dana White, it’s hard to tell if his crusade to achieve equitable fighter pay is genuine or part of an elaborate PR stunt to ruffle the feathers of the UFC President.

Nevertheless, it appears the movement is gathering steam, with UFC middleweight Paulo Costa also throwing his support behind Paul’s UFC fighter-pay criticisms. 

After pulling out of his scheduled bout with Jared Cannonier, the Brazilian tweeted his grievances with the UFC, saying that “Youtubers are showing all disgrace on this business.” In the tweets, Costa implied that the UFC failed to match his pay expectations for his main event bout with Cannonier, and alleged that the franchise announced the fight without his signing the contract.

This isn’t the first time an active UFC fighter has publicly vented their pay-related frustrations with the franchise. Since announcing his intentions to move to heavyweight, Jon Jones has consistently engaged in a public tit for tat with Dana White over what he conceives as inadequate pay, both for his past fights and a potential bout with Francis Ngannou.

While White recently expressed his optimism in working out a deal with Jones’ new management, both parties are still locked in a standoff, with neither willing to concede any ground on the issue.

What do you think? Is Cris Cyborg right to publicly support Jake Paul’s movement for equitable fighter pay?

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