YouTuber, boxer, and now apparent labor rights activist Jake Paul says he wants to create a fighter union to help address the issue of equitable pay in MMA.
Since coming to the fore as a boxer, Paul has persistently voiced criticisms of what he, and many others, perceive as the unfair remuneration practices of Dana White and the UFC. “The Problem Child” has insisted that he’s “not trying to be a hero” in his fighter pay crusade, but feels that no one else has “ever talked about fighter pay and made it this big of a point.”
A cynic might say that Paul has weaponized the issue of fighter pay as a means of agitating White; others, that his crusade is motivated by genuine concern for fighters. Whatever the truth is, it’s clear that the 24-year-old’s sentiment is shared by some on the UFC’s roster.
Francis Ngannou has voiced his sympathy with the fighter pay cause. So too Paulo Costa, who pulled out of his scheduled bout with Jared Cannonier in protest of his pay. And then there’s of course Jon Jones, who’s been a long-standing, vocal critic of the UFC’s pay structure.
Jake Paul Says He’d “Love To Be A Part Of” Creating A Fighter Union
Now as “The Problem Child” prepares to face Tyron Woodley in his fourth professional boxing bout, it appears he’s stepping his fighter pay crusade up a notch. Speaking to MMA Mania, Paul said he’s taking steps towards organized action in the battle for more equitable fighter pay.
“Yeah. I’ve thought about creating a fighter union,” said Paul. “And there have been talks about it; however, it is a massive undertaking. I’m 24-years-old. So I don’t know if I want to be in charge of a union at this point in my life. But honestly, if no one else is going to do it then I might have to step in the position to make it happen; however, we would need all of the fighters to cooperate and that’s easier said than done. Way easier said than done. Some people may not want to do that.”
While Paul admits that unionization will be difficult, he says it’s the only way the fighter pay issue will be resolved.
“There’s been a back-and-forth and it’s a massive undertaking. Do I see it happening soon? Potentially. I would love to do it. That’s the only way that this fighter pay [issue] and these contracts that people are locked into — it’s the only way that it’s going to change. I think it would be a massive, historic moment that I would love to be a part of, for sure.”
What do you think? Would a fighter union help achieve more equitable pay in MMA?