Showtime Sports President, Stephen Espinoza, believes Jake Paul isn’t putting on an act when he speaks out on MMA fighter pay.
Paul has expressed his belief that MMA fighters, particularly those competing under the UFC banner, are severely underpaid. Paul went as far as to say that MMA’s biggest star, Conor McGregor, is the most underpaid fighter in history. Paul, who is a YouTuber, pocketed $690,000 for his boxing match with Ben Askren. That number doesn’t include PPV bonuses or sponsorships.
During an interview with MMAFighting.com, Espinoza said he feels Paul is sincere when he talks about fighter pay not being enough in MMA.
“So many of the posts, if he wanted to establish a rivalry with Dana White, then he would do that. He and Conor [McGregor] have gone back and forth and they have their own personal rivalry.
“But if you look closely at what Jake is saying and doing, yeah, some of it is sort of directed at Dana but it’s directed at Dana as someone who has influence over the pay scale and the business model. What Jake is really talking about repeatedly is the business model, is the pay scale, is fighter pay.”
Paul recently signed a deal with Showtime. He will be boxing former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley on Aug. 29. The eight-round cruiserweight bout will be the headliner of a Showtime PPV card.
As it stands now, Paul is 3-0 as a pro boxer. He’s defeated former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder Ben Askren, former NBA star Nate Robinson, and fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib. Woodley hasn’t had a pro boxing match but many agree that he has the most punching power of any opponent Paul has faced.