“I’ll raise a million” Jake Paul and Francis Ngannou trade interesting proposals for a fighters union

The Youtuber Jake Paul sat down with UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou and others to discuss fighter pay, unions, and much more

Francis Ngannou x Jake Paul
Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul discussed the benefits and pathways to a fighters union

Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul have been a thorn on Dana White’s side. Ever since he decided to put on a pair of gloves and make Boxing his full-time career the social media sensation has been a walking PR nightmare for the UFC. Constantly nagging the UFC boss via all social media platforms, the YouTuber has actually managed to create quite the ruckus around fighter pay with the topic now entering the mainstream discourse.

Jake Paul x Tyron
Former UFC Champion and J2-Time Jake Paul opponent Tyron Woodley has said he made more money out of 2 boxing fights than his entire run as Welterweight Champion

Francis Ngannou on the other hand has been through hell and high water from within the organization, though immensely grateful to the UFC for transforming his life that started in the sand mines of Cameroon. However, Francis was smart enough to realize his true value in the UFC and it was a far cry from the refugee trying to make it into Europe and he wished to be treated accordingly (Financially) something the organization has always found it tough to come to terms with.

Related: “We know how this story ends”- Dana White on a boxing fight between Tyson fury and Francis Ngannou

Francis Ngannou and Jake Paul disagree on the viability of an athlete strike in MMA

Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou was caught in a do-or-die situation in his last outing, required to retain his title in order to have leverage over the UFC negotiating

On a recent episode of the “The Shop” Francis and Jake who seemed to have forged a friendship in the recent weeks went back and forth on the possibility of fighters unionizing to increase their leverage over the UFC.  Jake said, “Francis has the heaviest punch in the world, he is the heavyweight champion of the world in MMA, in boxing the heavyweight Champion makes $32 Million, he’s making $600-700k per fight ad that’s where the discrepancy is”

Francis, who is more privy to the workings of the UFC pointed out that in Boxing both parties have to negotiate contrary to the UFC where both parties fall under the same boss. He said, “There is one company that owns both you and your opponent, so no more power, you fight who they set you up against” Francis went on to highlight the fast-paced growth of the UFC while the fighters stagnate n their position, saying, “The company is so big and getting bigger that the fighters are getting smaller that everybody is scared, nobody wants to fight the company, nobody wants to say NO”

Jake was of the firm opinion that if the fighters managed to form a union, there would be more money that would be passed around with a better sense of equity although it might mean that the top guys in each sport might have to stand up for everyone below them. Francis was against this idea as standing down when you’ve been offered a fight means the cost of training, nutrition, and coaching amounting to nothing and leaving the fighter broke.

To this Jake had another interesting proposal of asking high-paid fighters such as Canelo Alvarez and Floyd Mayweather to chip in for the union (while insinuating them to be selfish if they refuse). He expressed his willingness to put forth the first donation himself, saying, “I’ll donate $500k, hell I’ll donate a million, I’m in for a million and I bet I can raise more than that, I’m saying the money we put forth in the union can help pay for the fighters who aren’t getting paid at the lower level in the interim.”

Also Read: “He’s for real”- Joe Rogan is extremely baffled by the public opinion of Jake Paul’s legitimacy as a fighter