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Israel Adesanya backs Jake Paul in his media crusade for increased UFC fighter pay

israel adesanya, jake paul
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Israel Adesanya has nothing but love for YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul, and his push to see UFC fighters get paid more.

Paul is not an MMA fighter, and he may never make a rumored transition from the boxing ring to the cage. However, he is a big fan of the sport and has not been shy about his desire to see UFC fighters be paid more.

Fighter pay has been a topic at the forefront of MMA and UFC conversations for years. The subject has been a focus even more in MMA circles over the last year as Paul has publicly attacked UFC President Dana White in the media for how his fighters are compensated. Octagon athletes reportedly only get near 15% of the revenue that the UFC makes. In the NBA and NFL, competitors earn 50% or more of those leagues’ revenue.

Israel Adesanya credits Jake Paul in getting ‘lucrative’ new deal

israel adesanya, jake paul
Feb 2, 2022; New York, New York, USA; American boxer Jake Paul gestures at a fan during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Adesanya (22-1) recently was the recipient of a new contract that his management company referred to as “one of the most lucrative multi-fight deals in [UFC] history.” And the 32-year-old superstar credited Paul and his spotlight on fighter pay as part of the reason for his new lucrative multi-fight deal. 

“I think Jake Paul was the right guy to [challenge White] at the time. He was one of the guys to get this conversation going that Francis [Ngannou] jumped in. You have me even now speaking about it,” Adesanya told Talksport earlier this week.

“Just because I got my new deal doesn’t mean I just shut up about it. I’m not wrong in saying I think everyone should be getting paid equally for their work. I get paid quite nicely and I’m still greedy. This is the game we’re in, in prizefighting.”

Current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is in a contract dispute with the promotion over his desire to get a hefty pay increase under a new contract. Despite fulfilling the six-fight obligation on the deal he signed a few years ago, he is still contracted to the promotion for another 12 months due to a “champion’s clause” in his accord.

Adesanya wants to see all fighters in the UFC get paid more, not just the proven stars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHjlxZmxBCA

However, Adesanya doesn’t want to only see his friend Ngannou receiving a raise for his success inside the Octagon. He wants to see all UFC fighters paid at a higher level. From the champion’s and pound-for-pound talents, down to the athletes opening up the event on a UFC Fight Night card. Because he believes it not only helps the talent but improves the overall product for the organization.

“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,” said Adesanya. “They can pay their managers and have their training fees taken care of and still have enough to live on comfortably. 

“What you get there is the notion of rising tides lifts all boats because you get a better quality product by having fighters completely train on fighting and they’re going to put on a better show and then the company rises up, trust me.”

Adesanya last fought at UFC 271 on Feb. 12. Beating top-ranked middleweight, and former division champion, Robert Whittaker in a rematch of the pairs bout from 2019.

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