Throughout Jake Paul’s pot-stirring comments about the UFC and MMA’s pay scale, he pointed out how Octagon girls are making more money than the fighters themselves. As he told Chael Sonnen in a 2021 interview:
“It’s a big problem. How is Arianny Celeste… she’s a ring girl, right? How does she make more money than some of the fighters in the Octagon who are risking their lives? Doesn’t make sense to me.
“It’s just a big problem and I’m hoping to help change that and just help fighters realize, like, they are the content. They are the ones that the fans are showing up for. They’re the ones that are driving these pay-per-views and they’re the ones, again, risking their lives. And they should be rewarded for that.”
UFC veteran Uriah Hall, who announced his retirement from MMA competition in August, echoed the exact same sentiments in a recent conference call for his boxing debut against three-time NFL Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell.
“Listen, the UFC opened my career and extended my career,” Hall said (transcript by MMA Fighting). “I made a great deal and everybody’s contract is different. There’s a lot of things that aren’t fair.
“I don’t think certain things are fair to athletes and for [Jake Paul] to speak out on that, kudos to him but is anything done yet? Nope. How far can we take it?
“You don’t have to go too much into details but I know people that are making [$10,000 to show, $10,000 to win], which is ridiculous. Cause you’re going out there and fighting and you’re putting your brain cells on the line and f–ng ring card girls are making $70,000, which is utterly f–ng ridiculous.
“So yeah, there’s some shit that’s just not going down but compared to this it’s OK. You know your worth as you get older in your career, I think, especially when you put a lot on the line for it and some people feel like they deserve more. At one point, I felt like I deserved more and I had to fight for that.”
As for his decision to transition to another realm of prizefighting, the 38-year-old Hall says it’s all about the “fun.”
“I’m just having fun. I’m retired from mixed martial arts but I’m not retired from making money. It’s a great opportunity. I see where it can take me. If there’s another great opportunity after this, yeah, I’ll take it.
“I have a goal. It’s important to have goals to reach to. You can’t just stumble around. I don’t want to be a journeyman like that. I want to have a purpose for doing it.”
Hall (17-11) last saw action at UFC 276 in July against André Muniz and lost via unanimous decision. His fight against Bell will be part of the undercard of the Anderson Silva-Jake Paul event, which takes place on October 29 in Arizona under Showtime Boxing.
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