Jake Paul: I don’t hate Dana White, I just want him to pay UFC fighters more

Celebrity influencer turned boxer Jake Paul is asking Dana White to raise UFC minimum fighter pay from $12,000 to $50,000.

By: Nate Wilcox | 1 month ago
Jake Paul: I don’t hate Dana White, I just want him to pay UFC fighters more
IMAGO | Courtesy Everett Collection

Good news! UFC boss Dana White doesn’t hate Jake Paul

UFC boss man Dana White recently extended an olive branch toward celebrity influencer turned professional boxer Jake Paul. And just in time too! Surprise, he really likes older but smaller brother Logan Paul.

Mike Tyson’s Hotboxin’ podcast seems to be the celestial medium via which these great souls communicate (transcript via MMA Junkie).

“I don’t f*cking hate Jake Paul,” White said. “Jake Paul is one of those guys that he’s a young kid, and he’s just trying to get attention. He’s always looking for attention and, he’s doing his thing. Whatever – it’s all good.”

Logan seems to have earned (or purchased) White’s fondness by partnering with the UFC to promote his hydration drink “Prime.” Not sure how hydration drinks vary from the much different (and surely wildly popular) dehydration drink segment.

“The brother is f*cking brilliant,” White said. “I mean, the brother’s f*cking raking in big dough. Logan Paul is a businessman. This kid’s really making some big moves, and KSI too. Those kids are making real money and doing their thing.”

Even better news! Jake Paul doesn’t hate Dana White either

Fortunately, Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson is open to all — well all high-profile combat sports celebrity types anyhow — and Jake got to extend an olive branch of his own….with a buzzer about fighter pay attached (transcribed by MMA Junkie).

“I don’t hate him either, I just want him to pay fighters more,” Paul said. “You know, now that the company is making billions of dollars a year, and the fighters are only getting 15 percent of it. That’s really where all of it stems from, is wanting higher fighter pay and long-term health care for the fighters.

“Obviously, we’ve gotten into these exchanges that muddies the purpose of why I’ve argued with him. You know, he throws out the fights are rigged, he’s on steroids; then I say something back about him being bald and ugly. It gets too messy and then we start going back and forth.”

Facts about UFC profits — Endeavor is making mad bank

Seems like Jake Paul has been reading (or skimming or he glanced at a headline or someone texted him a summary) the coverage of UFC fighter pay by Bloody Elbow’s John Nash. It’s only been a couple months since Nash reported the ugly facts revealed by UFC parent company Endeavor’s latest financial reports.

The excerpts below are from behind the Bloody Elbow Substack paywall.

For more on John Nash’s full deep-dive into their 2022 financials, which reveals new information on fighter pay and record breaking profits, check out the full post over at our Substack page.

“Last year they also saw $629 million in adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization.) That was another record for the company (this will be a recurring theme.) It was more than the $402 million they had in 2019, which was more than 2017’s $257 million, and much more than the $189 million in adjust EBITDA they reported for 2015. Their EBITDA margins have grown too, from 31% in 2015 to 55% last year.

“Their net income (profits) are even more impressive, growing from $119 million in 2015 to $177 million in 2020, to $272 million in 2021, and reaching $387 million in 2022, a margin of 34%. In other words for every dollar they see in revenue, roughly 1/3 of it will end up as profit.

“It’s difficult to express how incredible this is. That $387 million not only dwarfs what all the other MMA promotions – both major and minor- are estimated to make combined, it also dwarfs all the other major boxing promoters, also combined. In fact it likely surpasses the total profits of all MMA and boxing promoters.”

UFC fighters? They’re getting less and less of the money

Nash also revealed that UFC fighters are not sharing in the wealth, or at least their share of the wealth keeps dropping.

“Direct operating costs totaled $326 million in 2022. This is a 3% decrease from 2021 revenues of $336 million, which in turn was up 25.5% from $267 million in 2020..

“Direct operating costs primarily includes athlete costs (including athlete costs related to live events), event production, event specific marketing, and venue costs , as well as, to a lesser degree, direct costs with distributors and sales agents, “technology costs to operate UFC Fight Pass”, and the operation of the athletes performance centers.

“The biggest reason for a decrease in direct operating costs from 2021 to 2022, was a $32.8 million reduction in athlete costs. This was primarily due to holding one fewer event, as well as different athlete matchups — meaning different fighters with higher payouts were fighting or earning more from pay-per-view bonuses.”

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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