YouTube creator turned professional boxer Jake Paul has criticized the Ultimate Fighting Championship for its pay structure, but says that he’s a fan of the fight promotion.
“The reason why the UFC is so successful, and this is something that I want to get across, I like the UFC. I think what they’ve done is great. They just need to get better. And I think what Dana [White] has done to build MMA, he’s done good, but now it’s time to evolve more,” Paul told The MMA Hour.
“I don’t hate the UFC. I think what they’ve built is awesome.”
Paul and UFC president Dana White have engaged in a social media feud since early 2021. It escalated into personal attacks with Paul accusing White of illicit drug use and White accusing Paul of taking performance-enhancing drugs. White went so far as challenging Paul to submit to random drug tests and White would do the same.
Paul took the feud to another level by releasing a “Dana White Diss Track” official video on Jan. 28. While Paul continues to take shots at the UFC and White, White recently vowed to no longer respond to Paul’s attacks and antics.
“Everybody thinks I hate Jake Paul. I don’t hate Jake Paul,” White said during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show. “I don’t even know Jake Paul to hate the guy.”
“I’m at a place where, why am I arguing with this guy, who isn’t under contract with me, doesn’t fight for me, and probably never will fight for me. This is ridiculous,” White said. “I’m not even talking about this guy anymore. There’s no need for he and I to go back-and-forth about anything.”
Paul’s last three boxing matches have been against former UFC fighters. He knocked out Ben Askren in April 2021. In his next bout, he defeated former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley by split decision. He knocked out Woodley in their rematch in December.
There’s a reason why Paul targets former UFC fighters as opponents.
“It goes got show that the most famous combat sports athletes are out of the UFC because they do such a great job of promoting their fighters. So really all the boxers you know are the heavyweights right now, and Canelo (Alvarez), and there’s like the lightweight division that’s on fire,” Paul said.
“That’s why it makes since for me to fight these MMA fighters is because they’ve just gotten promoted better over their careers than the boxing promoters have promoted these boxers.”