Israel Adesanya is giving props to Jake Paul.
Israel Adesanya is fresh off his latest title defense when he defeated Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC 271. Right before that fight, Adesanya closed a massive deal with the UFC. He signed a new deal with an undisclosed amount of money involved, but according to his management made him one of the highest-paid fighters on the roster.
Now that Adesanya is where he should be moneywise, he is giving Jake Paul some admiration for his battle for better fighter pay.
“I think Jake Paul was the right guy to [challenge Dana White] at the time,” Adesanya told talkSPORT (via Daily Mail). “He was one of the guys to get this conversation going that Francis [Ngannou] jumped in. You have me even now speaking about it. I’m talking about the guy who is having the second fight in the UFC, I think they should be paid well enough that they can have a 12-week training camp without having a second or third job.”
Paul has been vocal about wanting to help UFC fighters raise their paychecks. He has gone back-and-forth publicity with Dana White regarding the urge to pay the fighters more money. Paul has just a handful of boxing fights on his résumé but is making a lucrative living. Not only is he living well through fighting, but he says he wants to help others do the same.
Paul has taken it upon himself to buy some stock in UFC’s parent company Endeavor in hopes of having a say in the decision-making process regarding fighter pay. Although he has not made an impact formally just yet, Adesanya thinks that Paul bringing the subject too light is helping. Adesanya explained that he had a chance to speak with Paul personally and believes that he is sincere in his campaign to help other fighters.
“I ended up at his house after the fight and we went deep into some conversations and talking to him, you realize ‘man, this guy is really serious. Like, he’s not just doing this for [clout, etc],” Adesanya said. “Because if you don’t know him, you just kind of fall into that ‘Ah, this snobby little kid we think he’s just doing this for attention, for likes or clout, but you talk to him and it’s like ‘Yo, he’s really serious.’”
It is not only the new UFC fighters or the prelim fighters that are having issues regarding money. The top fighters are also looking for higher wages. UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou has been vocal about wanting more money and freedom from the UFC. Now, perhaps with Adesanya being paid more, the door will be open for other fighters as well.
Do you agree with Israel Adesanya? Is Jake Paul’s outspokenness on fighter pay is helping?