While he entered the year with his eyes set on a seventh outing in professional boxing, which he expects to go down before the first quarter is up, it’s taken Paul just days to confirm a monumental new venture in combat sports.
Having established himself as a prominent name inside the ring, “The Problem Child” will look to do so in mixed martial arts this year — although, it can be said he’s gone some way to achieving that courtesy of his frequent criticism of the UFC.
On Thursday, it was announced that Paul has signed a multi-year deal with the PFL, a promotion with prides itself on being the ‘fastest-rising sports league in the world’. The agreement will see Paul debut as part of the new Super Fight division, something the 25-year-old is also a co-owner of.
After the New York Times made the initial report, with the PFL later confirming the signing on social media, Paul himself released a YouTube video to kick off his partnership with the major MMA organization.
During it, he looked to provide clarity on the details of the PFL’s newly created pay-per-view division.
PFL Super Fight Division: Executive Structure, Paul’s Role
During the address, Paul confirmed that he and his business partner Nakisa Bidarian now own an equity share of the PFL. He also went into detail about the executive structure, which features himself, Bidarian, PFL founder Donn Davis, and the organization’s CEO Peter Murray.
“Not only am I an MMA fighter now… I am also a co-founder of the new PFL PPV Super Fight division,” Paul said. “The big bosses got around the table — Chairman Donn Davis, CEO Peter Murray, Nakisa Bidarian needs no explanation, and myself. We came together to launch the PFL PPV Super Fight division.
“My advisor Nakisa Bidarian is also joining as a co-founder of this new division for the PFL. I’m coining him the head of making everyone money,” Paul added.
In terms of his own outside-the-cage responsibilities, Paul will assume the role of ‘head of fighter advocacy’, which will see him look to utilize his platform and large following to promote the PFL‘s events and roster members.
“As the head of fighter advocacy, I’m going to use my platform to market PFL fighters and introduce them to my fans worldwide,” Paul explained. “I personally, will be deeply involved in making sure the PFL is the best place in the world for fighters.”
Paul Details PFL Super Fight Revenue Split, Slams UFC In Comparison
While his fists have remained in boxing gloves ever since he arrived on the scene in combat sports, much of what’s come out of Paul’s mouth has been about mixed martial arts, specifically the UFC.
“The Problem Child” has long campaigned against the contactual conditions UFC fighters are under, accusing the promotion of stifling fighter pay by offering a revenue share of around 20 percent.
Having previously compared that to figures such as the NFL, which sees players make between 48-50 percent of their sport’s revenue, Paul has now turned his words into action by co-founding a league that will operate with a 50-50 split between promotion and fighter.
“As you guys know, I have been trying to increase fighter pay for all fighters worldwide. With the launch of this new PFL Super Fight division, our fighters will be receiving 50% of the revenue. Yes, you heard that correctly. A true 50/50 partnership with fighters that still allows them to be individual.”
Paul also mentioned the ability for athletes competing under the PFL banner to secure their own fight kit sponsors, something he was quick to mention hasn’t been possible for UFC athletes since the commencement of the Reebok deal in 2015.
“(They can) even monetize their own sponsorship deals, which, as we know, isn’t allowed in the UFC — you have to do as you’re told, wear what you’re told, and promote what you’re told,” Paul said.
With a structure that he hopes will change mixed martial arts for good, both in terms of format and the way fighters are treated, Paul is looking to ‘disrupt’ MMA in a major way.
“I’ve already disrupted boxing, and now, it’s time to disrupt MMA.”
For Paul and the PFL higher-ups, the ambition is simple — ascend the promotion to the top of the MMA food chain in a way that provides a desirable and fair destination for the world’s best fighters.
“I also am going to ensure that the PFL is the gold standard in combat sports when it comes to fighter relations and opportunity,” Paul explained. “We are a fighters-first league… Our goal is simple, and that’s to make PFL the biggest MMA organization in the world, all whilst making it the best place for fighters to have a home.”
Time will tell whether Paul can succeed in his mission.
What do you make of the Jake Paul-co-owned PFL Super Fight division?
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