It was a very interesting start to 2022 for Jake Paul and Dana White, as the two engaged in a social media war that took over the news this past weekend.
The animosity between the two has appeared to reach a boiling point following a few intense exchanges. It is unknown if anything will come of this outside of social media.
Following his knockout win against former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley, Paul pleaded with White to allow Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz to fight him in a boxing ring. The two were at his fight in Tampa, watching from the crowd. White blasted Paul, stating they won’t be competing in a ring and challenged Paul to take a PED test following claims of White using drugs. It was quiet on Paul’s end until New Year’s Day.
On Saturday, Paul responded with a proposal he believes White can’t refuse. Paul stated he would retire from boxing immediately if White approved a fight in the octagon against Jorge Masvidal. The 24-year-old also said he would enter the USADA pool to get tested. That was not all, however. Paul requested White comply with a few stipulations, which involved fighter pay.
Happy new year @danawhite. Here is a real challenge for you…
I will immediately retire from boxing and fight Jorge Masvidal in the UFC if you agree to: pic.twitter.com/bJScDVITvL
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) January 1, 2022
Happy new year Dana White. Here is a real challenge for you… I will immediately retire from boxing and fight Jorge Masvidal in the UFC if you agree to:
1) Increase min fighter pay per fight to $50K (it’s $12K now)
2) Guarantee UFC fighters 50% of UFC annual revenues ($1bn in 2021)
3) Provide longterm healthcare to all fighters (you previously said brain damage is part of the gig…imagine the NFL said that). There are many UFC alums who have publicly said they are suffering from brain damage
You have 5 days to accept and to implement the above by March 31, 2022. Once implemented I will immediately retire from boxing, enter USADA and agree to a 1 fight deal with UFC to fight weak chin Jorge
To all UFC fighters — time to take a stand and create value for yourselves and peers. You deserve higher pay, you deserve long term healthcare and above all you deserve freedom. Support each other. I am not your enemy, I am your advocate…who selfishly wants to KO a few of you to make some big bank
Paul has been vocal about fighter pay in the past. He stated that those who fight during his events make more when compared to a few bouts with the UFC. Seven-division boxing champion Amanda Serrano, who has teamed up with Most Valuable Promotions, offered her services in the octagon as well. Already 2-0-1 in the cage, Serrano wants to fight UFC Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko.
It did not take long for White to respond. He stated that Paul never responded to his initial challenge. White also criticized Nakisa Bidarian, Paul’s advisor and former UFC CFO. Calling Bidarian “The Warlock,” White challenged them to start a promotion, said that Paul is not a pay-per-view draw, and that Jake needs to agree to the initial request.
White is used to questions about Paul during UFC media press conferences. There are times when he ignores the questions or gives a simple answer and a jab. It is rare when he reaches out to those that bother him on social media.
— danawhite (@danawhite) January 2, 2022
“You never responded to the challenge,” White stated, via MMA Fighting. “You publicly stated that I use cocaine. I do not. So I told you [that] you could randomly cocaine test me for the next 10 years. I believe that you’re a cheater and I believe that you use steroids, so I want to randomly steroid test you for the next two years. And that thing that you came out with today, nobody on Earth thinks that you really wrote that. You’re too stupid. And for those of you that don’t know — if you’ve ever watched one of his fights and you see the staredowns, the guy that’s standing in the middle with the warlock nose and the big wart on his face, apparently that’s his manager.
“That guy used to be an accountant for me. And let me say this, he no longer works for me and I think he’s a scumbag. But if you two think you can do it better than we do, [that] we’re doing the whole thing wrong and you’re treating fighters better than we do, knock yourself out. Go start your own business, it’s easy to do. Get the warlock on it. The warlock can get it started for you.”
Bidarian was the Senior Vice President of Investment and Strategy for Fertitta Entertainment from 2011-2013. For over five years, Bidarian was the CFO and Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Ventures for the UFC. Since then, he has been the CEO and co-founder of Fertitta Capital, an executive producer for Triller, and the founder of BAVAFA Sports. With Paul, Bidarian has been a key figure in bringing eyes to Most Valuable Promotions.
Paul added more gasoline to the already burning fire. Paul used his creative social media skills while on vacation on a Caribbean Island to come out with another video, stating he is willing to get tested under USADA and that he has never done steroids. He also turned White’s last video around on him, stating he didn’t address the fighter pay issue. Regarding Bidarian, Paul credited him for helping the UFC getting sold to Endeavor a few years ago.
Looking to get on Masvidal’s nerves, Paul insulted his social media numbers and demanded that UFC fighters get tested if he must go through USADA.
“Long story short, you address nothing that I said,” Paul stated, via MMA Fighting. “I accepted your challenge. I said I would fight MMA. I said that I would retire from boxing … It shows that you are in a corner… You’re a dog in a corner trying to fight to save his whole company and the embarrassment that I’ve put you through… You met your maker. I’m not gonna stop. Welcome to the show, ladies and gentlemen.”
“I don’t do steroids and I take it as a compliment because there’s no other excuse to me knocking out all of your champions than ‘This kid does steroids. If you steroid test me, then I want to steroid test every one of your fighters. You won’t do it though, will you? Men lie, women lie, Dana White lies, numbers don’t.”
Paul has since posted on social media a countdown of his USADA request. It ends this week, and White has yet to respond.
Paul is not planning on fighting in a boxing ring until late 2022. His goal is to help make a fight possible between Serrano and Katie Taylor. As far as who he could fight next, Paul could go back to facing Tommy Fury. Fury backed out of their planned bout due to injury. Other fighters he could compete against are Anderson Silva and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.