Dana White, Daniel Cormier, and the crowd that attended UFC 261 on Saturday weren’t shy about showing Jake Paul how they felt about the controversial YouTuber boxer on a night of drama in Florida.
Paul’s young martial arts career continued this month when he defeated former UFC fighter Ben Askren in a fight that Triller said drew rich pay-per-view audiences, but it was clear the 23-year-old was not found again in the good graces of the UFC brotherhood.
Chants of “F * ck Jake Paul” were heard during the prepped fight between Randy Brown and Alex Oliveira, with commentator Joe Rogan noticing the lukewarm reaction – before co-commentator Cormier announced on the air that he had just had a confrontation with Paul, and that the two had exchanged social media messages in the days after Paul’s first round for Askren.
“I just saw Jake Paul and I pointed at him and said don’t play with me,” said Cormier. “Because I’m going to hit him in the face. He’s right there. I will hit [him]. I don’t play these games, Joe. “
In the post-fight press conference, UFC boss White broke one of his own ground rules when asked about Paul – an under-contract fighter – and said he respected Paul’s ability to generate cash, he says his A fighting career is little more than a “freak show”.
“This kid did a good job making some money,” White admitted.
“Good for him, he makes you talk about him all the time, asking questions about him, Daniel Cormier running after him, so he’s doing something right.
“He blew an NBA guy who was 40 years old and 30 pounds less than him and I don’t even know what to think of the Askren thing.
“The whole thing is bloody mind-blowing for me, but good for him, grab the money while you can be joking.”
All I know is that DC talked to him like his son did. 😂 I wish I heard.
– Absin (@AbsinAstro) April 25, 2021
His blood pressure was through the roof, the man was scared
– buskya (@ buskya2) April 25, 2021
His lower lip goes like a sad little boy
– Adam J. Simpson (@AdamStrongo) April 25, 2021
Paul claimed after his battle with Askren that the event generated a massive 1.5 million pay-per-view purchases, resulting in a $ 75 million premium for the Triller-sponsored battle.
However, White is skeptical of these numbers.
“No, I don’t know if the numbers are there,” he said when asked about Paul’s advertising campaign.
“Do you even know what would happen to this guy? He doesn’t fight in the UFC. You make me talk about that damn guy again!”
“You get handpicked opponents and God knows what else is wrong with this whole damn thing.
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“There’s a market for that. That’s not what I do. People want to see this, this kid is going to make a few dollars before this ride is over, and it’s just not what I do.
“And the numbers you hear are full of shit, they’re full of shit. They didn’t draw those kinds of numbers at all, not even close to them.
“I don’t believe anything they say, it’s a bloody circus. I’ve built a real business here, a real sport. This is a freak show.”