In five professional bouts inside the squared circle, Paul has grown from an online star into a well-known name at the surface of the mainstream combat sports scene.
While his knockouts of former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and former ONE and Bellator titleholder Ben Askren are largely to thank, “The Problem Child” has also made noise outside the ring.
For months, Paul has been campaigning online for better fighter pay in the UFC and improved contractual conditions. From donating to the GoFundMe of Sarah Alpar to seemingly purchasing UFC shares to even offering his boxing retirement in exchange for his demands, the 25-year-old hasn’t been shy about making his feelings known.
But while some, including UFC middleweight king Israel Adesanya, have praised Paul for using his platform to pursue better remuneration for athletes, others, such as lightweight Paddy Pimblett, have questioned whether he truly has the needs of fighters on his mind.
The latest to give their thoughts on the matter is one of the UFC’s top champions, Volkanovski.
Volkanovski Split On Paul’s True Intentions
During a recent interview with The AllStar’s John Hyon Ko, the Australian featherweight was asked whether he thinks Paul is pursuing improved pay for the fighters or for his own gain.
While he accepts “The Problem Child” may believe in what he’s saying and care to some extent, Volkanovski doesn’t believe Paul would still be making noise on the topic if he wasn’t drawing headlines and attention for it.
“It’s a good question, man. That is a good question. I can see there’s probably a bit of both,” said Volkanovski. “In the sense that, like, yeah, maybe he does (care)… He probably looks at it like, ‘Look at the money I’m getting and then these guys…’ Maybe there is a little truth to it. But he’s obviously all about hype and getting people talking, and all that, and getting the headlines. So, you know that’s always gonna come into play.
“Maybe he does believe in some of the things he says, but at the same time, the only reasons why he’s pursuing it is because of the hype and he’s getting people talking,” Volkanovski added. “So that’s what I think. Again, he probably does feel that way, but if it wasn’t hitting the headlines, he’d have stopped a long time ago.”
While it seems fans and pundits won’t know Paul’s true intentions, at least for now, it’s hard to deny the work he’s putting in to bring female boxing to the forefront of the sport.
His promotion of Amanda Serrano has undoubtedly boosted not only her stardom, but also her fight purses. If Paul can begin to cause change like that in MMA, it’ll be hard to criticize his work.
Do you agree with Alexander Volkanovski? Does Jake Paul discuss fighter pay to attract headlines?