3 UFC stars who have questioned the company's pay model since the rise of the Paul brothers

Jake Paul (far left); Logan Paul (second from left); UFC president Dana White (second from right); Jon Jones (far right)
Jake Paul (far left); Logan Paul (second from left); UFC president Dana White (second from right); Jon Jones (far right)

The rise of the Paul brothers, Logan Paul and Jake Paul, has taken the UFC and the combat sports world as a whole by storm. While neither brother has captured a major combat sports world title as of yet, they’ve already etched their names in the history books amongst the highest-paid fighters in the world.

The Paul brothers are YouTube megastars and social media influencers who’ve utilized their incredible popularity to bring more eyeballs to combat sports. Needless to say, their paychecks reflect the fact that the brothers are successfully bringing in new audiences to the fight game.

Regardless, their entry and meteoric rise to superstardom in the fight business has also led many top-tier professional fighters to question their fighter pay. Notable talents in the UFC have expressed their disappointment over not being paid as much as they’d like.

Today, we look at three UFC stars who’ve questioned the company’s pay model since the rise of the Paul brothers.

#3 Francis Ngannou questioned the company’s pay model while addressing the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul fight

Heavyweight KO artist Francis Ngannou captured the coveted UFC heavyweight title by knocking out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 (March 2021). Ngannou was expected to face MMA legend Jon Jones in a super-fight next. However, issues related to Jones’ remuneration have prevented the fight from coming to fruition.

Addressing the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul ‘super exhibition’ boxing match on Twitter, Francis Ngannou suggested that he too isn’t happy with the UFC pay model. Ngannou’s tweet read as follows:

“It's crazy to think that Logan Paul (0-1) just made $20M on a boxing exhibition. WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG?”

The UFC heavyweight kingpin alluded to YouTube superstars like the Paul brothers making millions of dollars despite being relatively inexperienced in the fight game. On that note, Ngannou opined that perhaps he and his fellow UFC fighters are doing something wrong, as they aren’t earning anything close to the amounts that the Paul brothers are.

#2 UFC middleweight Paulo Costa recently expressed his displeasure with the UFC pay model

Former UFC middleweight title challenger Paulo Costa was expected to fight Jared Cannonier in August 2021. Costa withdrew from the fight earlier this month and subsequently took to social media to express his displeasure with the UFC pay model.

Costa asserted that his withdrawal from the fight was indeed due to him not being offered a desirable paycheck for the Cannonier fight. ‘The Eraser’ stated the following via Twitter:

“UFC needs to pay me as main fighter to have fighting in main events. Youtubers are showing all disgrace on this business.”
“Just to be clear. I never signed or locked up that contract. Why ufc announced this fight if didn’t signed? My question too”

Additionally, Paulo Costa’s Instagram post read as follows:

“Hello folks! What’s up. I’m here to clarify. I have working so hard to come and make a great show for fans next against a great UFC name on similar position as me #2 top ranked but they keep insisting on paying me even less than some unranked fighters , that’s so unfair. And im A GUY WHO PEOPLE WANT TO SEE FIGHTING! I believe this is very bad for sport and fan’s lost good fights would suppose happened. I’ll be training hard as always to make that vicious fight people love watch.”

#1 Jon Jones is currently involved in a dispute with the UFC over his remuneration

As noted earlier, the much-discussed dream matchup between UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is yet to materialize.

Ngannou – addressing the money made by Mayweather and Paul in their exhibition boxing match – has suggested that the UFC pay model could be better. Meanwhile, Jones has been involved in a full-blown dispute with the UFC over his remuneration.

Jones recently parted ways with First Round Management after about a decade of having them as his managers. He has now brought on veteran boxing manager Richard Schaefer as his advisor. ‘Bones’ has emphasized that he isn’t satisfied with the money that the UFC is offering him to fight Ngannou for the UFC heavyweight title.

The longtime UFC megastar has claimed that he’s unlikely to compete until 2022. Jones believes that the UFC ought to meet his expectations in regards to his paycheck ahead of his next MMA fight in the organization. That said, Jones is seemingly optimistic about his future in the UFC. He recently took to Instagram and stated:

“I have retained Richard Schaefer as my advisor. Richard has been in the combat sports space for over 20 years and has put together some of the biggest pay-per-view events over that period. The likes of (Floyd) Mayweather, (Oscar) De La Hoya, ‘Canelo’ (Alvarez), (Bernard) Hopkins, (Marco Antonio) Barrera and (Juan Manuel) Marquez have headlined exciting events that Richard has promoted and produced. His knowledges and experience of the pay-per-view industry and combat sports are second to none. I am excited to embark on this next chapter of my career as I continue to cement my place in history as one of the greats with Richard as my advisor. I can’t wait to give my fans and the sport the fights they want to see.”

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Edited by James McGlade
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