Israel Adesanya believes Jake Paul’s bombardment of Dana White about improved fighter pay helped open door for his new deal and reveals moment he realised YouTuber-turned-boxer is ‘NOT just a snobby little kid’
- Jake Paul has been bombarding Dana White about improving fighter pay
- Topic has become red hot issue and Israel Adesanya thinks Paul helped
- Champion recently signed deal to make him second highest paid in UFC
- He also thinks Paul is boxing for more than just clout and is fully committed
Israel Adesanya believes his lucrative new deal with the UFC is at least in part down to Jake Paul’s campaign for better fighter pay.
Paul has been involved in a public back-and-forth with Dana White, lobbying the UFC president to improve the pay and healthcare for the organisation’s fighters.
Some believe the YouTuber-turned-boxer is poking the bear for clout and attention while others think his passion for the issue is genuine.
Israel Adesanya (left) signed a lucrative new UFC deal prior to his fight with Robert Whittaker
Jake Paul has helped lead the charge in terms of pushing for improved fighter pay
Adesanya has spent time with Paul and thinks he was the right man to speak publicly about a topic MMA fighters might be reluctant to.
He told talkSPORT: ‘I think Jake Paul was the right guy to [challenge Dana 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. 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.’
Adesanya went on to add that he came across Paul when commentating on his fight against NBA star Nate Robinson.
It was back at Paul’s house after the KO win that the UFC middleweight champion realised how immersed in boxing the 25-year-old is.
Adesanya defended his middleweight crown with a unanimous decision win at UFC 271
He added: ‘I ended up at his house after the fight and we went deep into some conversations and talking to him, you realise ‘man, this guy is really serious. Like, he’s not just doing this for [clout etc].’
“Because if you don’t know him, you just kind of fall into that ‘ah, this snobby little kid we think he’s just doing this for attention, for likes or clout, but you talk to him and it’s like ‘yo, he’s really serious.’
Adesanya recently defended his title against Robert Whittaker in their rematch at UFC 271 and remains the dominant force in his division, second only to Kamaru Usman in the pound-for-pound rankings.
Adesanya says Paul is deeply into boxing and not just using the sport for clout
Prior to the fight, his management company Paradigm Sports said: ‘We are very happy with the terms of Israel’s new promotional agreement with UFC.
‘Israel truly deserves to be the position that he’s in and we look forward to several more prosperous years with UFC.
‘The agreement was finalised last week after several months of negotiations, ahead of Adesanya’s much anticipated title-defence against Robert Whittaker at UFC 271.’
The finer details of the new contract remain undisclosed.
They described the deal as ‘one of the most lucrative in company history’, and it is thought to be only second to Conor McGregor.