Jake Paul vs. Dana White is one of the combat sports rivalries we didn’t see coming a few years ago. However, after Paul made himself one of the more bankable stars in boxing, due to a string of circus fights and KOs over MMA champions, he and the UFC President have gone at it over a number of issues.
Paul has been courting MMA fans by railing against White and the UFC’s subpar fighter pay (compared to other major American sports league). This argument devolved into a spat over drug use with White offering to get tested for cocaine in exchange for Paul being tested for steroids.
White was recently asked about Paul on the Full Send Podcast. Specifically he was asked what Paul would need to do to earn White’s respect.
“Well it’s not that he doesn’t have my respect,” said White (ht bjpenn). “You know, I don’t even know the kid. At the end of the day, I don’t even know the kid. And you know what? To be honest with you, I’ll tell you right here right now, this is the last time you will hear me talk about him. I’m done with it. I put out the challenge, he said ‘you do coke’, I said ‘I think you use performance enhancing drugs’, he never responded to it. So fire away kid, do your thing. I’m sitting here arguing with this kid who doesn’t even fight for me, and is never going to fight for me. So what’s the point with him and I going back and forth with each other?”
The podcast hosts then asked White what would happen if Paul told him he wanted to fight in the UFC.
“I don’t know,” answered White. “I don’t know. I don’t think that would ever happen, but listen – I never say never anymore. You know, I didn’t think Floyd [Mayweather Jr.] and Conor [McGregor], or that I would end up doing any of my guys against Floyd. Because that just makes absolutely no sense.”
So it seems despite White’s obvious dislike for Paul he won’t rule out the opportunity to make a buck off the influencer. Seeing Paul appear in the UFC doesn’t feel any stranger than former WWE star CM Punk getting a crack in the Octagon or boxer James Toney signing a one-fight deal.
Paul has stated that he would be willing to fight in the UFC, albeit under certain circumstances. In response to White’s bizarre drug testing offer Paul challenged White to increase minimum fighter pay, increase the revenue split to 50% and provide long term healthcare to all UFC athletes. If White met those benchmarks Paul said he would retire from boxing and fight Jorge Masvidal in the UFC.