UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has questioned whether he and his fellow mixed martial artists are doing something wrong.
His thoughts, shared on Twitter, came as he watched Logan Paul and Floyd Mayweather break the bank for their exhibition fight and quickly led to Dana White’s name trending.
Fighter pay in UFC, which is headed up by White, is an issue that is often raised and has been talked about increasingly in recent months given how much money Logan and Jake Paul claim to be making.
Former UFC star Paige VanZant once claimed to make more money from Instagram than fighting in the octagon, while Jon Jones has chosen to wait on the sidelines than accept less than what he feels he deserves to challenge Ngannou.
Ahead of Sunday night’s meeting, 50-0 Mayweather estimated the pair would be earning $100million for their eight rounds, which is big money for the YouTuber who has no wins and one loss on his record.
For making light work of Ben Askren, Logan’s brother, Jake, claimed to have earned $75m and Mayweather pointed out money is what counts in his post-fight press conference.
Jake, in particular, has been a vocal critic of UFC fighter pay, calling it ‘unfair’.
“There’s a movement, moving forward that is going to show that fighters should be getting paid more,” Paul said in a video uploaded by former UFC fighter Jimi Manuwa.
“It’s unfair. The UFC fighters don’t have fair pay. Out of all the sports, the percentage that the owners get versus the athlete, they’re the lowest.
“Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones; that fight should happen. Dana White, pay them the $10 million. He’s taking their money. They’re the ones making the content.
“They’re the ones getting in the ring, risking their life.”
“They say, ‘It’s not all about the money.’ Well, your kids can’t eat legacy… The patches on my trunks, [earned me] $30million alone. So who’s really the smartest one in the sport of boxing? When it comes to legalised bank robbing, I’m the best.”
Mayweather was returning to the ring at the age of 44, having fought the very best his sport has to offer and offered his respect for the novice.
“A great young fighter. Strong, tough. He’s better than I thought he was,” he said of his heavier opponent.
“He’s a tough, rough competitor. It was good action.
“I was surprised by him tonight. A good guy.
“Even though he doesn’t have much experience, he knew how to use his weight and he knew how to tie me up tonight.”