Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
Dana White ventured into the belly of the beast to respond to Jake Paul.
The UFC president appeared Tuesday in a lengthy interview on Impaulsive with Logan Paul, the podcast of Jake Paul’s older brother, during which White was asked point-blank whether the much-discussed matchup between the YouTuber and former two-division champion Conor McGregor would ever be a fight the UFC would be willing to entertain.
“Well, he shouldn’t even be fighting Conor McGregor,” White said. “These guys [the Pauls] are f****** huge. [Logan] is huge, his brother [Jake] is huge. What’s your brother, 6-foot-1, 210 [pounds]? Conor McGregor is 145, 155 pounds. … There’s weight classes for a reason.
“Do you think [Jake] could make ‘70?” White continued, asking Logan Paul directly.
“I don’t think so,” Logan Paul replied.
“Yeah, exactly,” White said. “And it’s a stretch for Conor to fight at 170. He fought Nate [Diaz] at ‘70, that isn’t his f****** weight class, not even close.”
Jake Paul has been a thorn in White’s side since his boxing career began in earnest. The popular social media mogul has shined a light on several of the UFC’s controversial business practices, publicly challenged its athletes, and even made a music video for a diss track aimed at White that currently has over 3.7 million views on YouTube. Just this past week, Jake Paul upped the ante in the ongoing feud by proposing a one-fight deal with the UFC to face McGregor in an MMA match.
His terms were for UFC officials to agree a previous proposal to revamp fighter pay and healthcare if he wins, and to donate his entire fight purse to UFC athletes who make less than $50,000 a fight and publicly pledge to never mention the promotion again if he loses.
Not surprisingly, Jake Paul was quick to respond on Tuesday to White’s latest salvo.
“Dana White is begging for Diaz and Conor to fight for a third time,” he wrote in response to White on Twitter. “They have fought at 170 pounds in both their fights. I will fight Conor at 175 pounds, no problem. Stop making excuses p******.”
When pressed by Logan Paul as to whether the UFC has completely shut down on the idea of Jake Paul fighting in the octagon, be it against McGregor or somebody else, White actually softened his stance a bit and explained that he’s not altogether opposed.
The UFC president also said he doesn’t take any offense to the way Jake Paul has handled his business throughout the feud.
“I’m never completely closed off to anything,” White said. “I used to say that about things, but I don’t say that anymore, because you never know. You never know what could happen.
“Listen, he’s a young kid out there trying to make some money, and I don’t fault anybody for that.
“It was never off-putting to me,” White added of Jake Paul’s antagonistic approach with the UFC. “In this business, it’s about attention. How much attention can you get? But more importantly, who gives a s***? Who cares that you’re going to fight this guy on Saturday night? You’ve got to make people care. You’ve got to make people stay home. They have a lot of different choices on Saturday, what to do with their time — you’ve got to make them stay home and pay for it. And everybody has a different style of doing that.
“I’m not against [Paul’s approach]. The thing is with me, if I really don’t like you and whatever, I won’t respond to you. I would’ve never responded to it.”
White’s interview with Logan Paul can be seen below.