Jake Paul: Dana White ‘trying to bully everyone in the fight game’
Perhaps Jake Paul put it best when speaking about himself and UFC president Dana White on the “Full Send Podcast” released Wednesday night.
“He and I just can’t stop talking about each other,” Paul said.
It’s true. The war of words between Paul and White began prior to the YouTuber-turned-professional-boxer’s knockout of Ben Askren this past April. It’s only escalated since then and reached new levels in the wake of Paul’s win over former UFC champion Tyron Woodley last month.
“Him and I, it’s a little bit more personal now,” Paul said. “He’s trying to discredit everything that I’m doing, saying that my fights are rigged, because he looks bad. He’s trying to bully everyone in the fight game, and I’m the only person with a big platform that’s speaking out against him, because I’m the only one who doesn’t give a sh*t.
“All his fighters have to say, ‘Yes, dad. We’re sorry. Please let me fight. Please pay me.’ I’m the only fighter right now that doesn’t give a f*ck and is going right at him. And so he has to do everything he can to discredit me.”
So far, Paul has made his name in the fight game largely through MMA without competing inside a cage. He engaged in a bitter Twitter feud with Bellator welterweight and Conor McGregor friend Dillon Danis before moving on to calling out McGregor, Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, and other high-profile UFC fighters.
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Paul, who’s been an advocate for UFC fighters being paid better, said he knows “for a fact” that current big-name UFC fighters have asked White to fight him, but White “won’t let them do it for whatever reason.”
“He’s a very smart guy. I get it,” Paul said. “It would only hurt the UFC if I beat their fighter, and look at the way things have unfolded. I beat Ben Askren. And then the first notch on my belt is a (former) UFC champion, outboxed him for eight rounds. So now Dana is going, ‘Damn, do I want this money? Or should I actually risk Kamaru Usman?’ That’s the fighter who’s gone to him and been like, ‘Please, please, please.'”
Paul recently rejected the notion that he would ever want to fight in the UFC, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he wouldn’t work with White. The way Paul sees it, so long as he keeps winning, the financial appeal of a cross-promotion would be too much for White to ignore.
“That’s what’s happening. It’s becoming more undeniable,” Paul said. “At some point it’s like, OK, we have to make this happen because it’s just such a big business play. That’s why I do see it being a possibility in two years from now, maybe, just keep on winning, and it could happen for sure.”