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Jake Paul Signs Multiyear Contract with Pro Fighting League, Includes Company Equity

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 5, 2023

CLEVELAND, OHIO - DECEMBER 24: Jake Paul celebrates prior to a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Jake Paul is reportedly going to be in direct competition with the UFC.

According to Kris Rhim of the New York Times, the influencer-turned-boxer signed a multiyear contract with the Professional Fighters League. He plans on fighting mixed martial arts in 2023 in a division called Super Fight and, along with business partner Nakisa Bidarian, has an equity share of the company.

That Paul is involved in a rival league to UFC is notable because he has criticized its pay system for fighters in the past.

Rhim noted the Super Fight division will pay fighters at least 50 percent of the pay-per-view revenue, which stands in stark contrast to the less than 20 percent of the total revenue that UFC fighters typically make for bouts.

"You're not a prisoner anymore to UFC," P.F.L. co-founder and chairman Donn Davis said. "You can now choose UFC or P.F.L., but what makes P.F.L. different is we're coming out with a true economic partnership for fighters."

Paul plans on fighting but will also have the role of "head of fighter advocacy," where he will be expected to post on social media. Bidarian is involved in the financial side of the league, which follows since he was previously UFC's chief financial officer.

This is a switch for Paul, who has turned heads as a boxer with a 6-0 record and victories over Anderson Silva, Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren.

The plan was to box UFC fighter Nate Diaz next, and Rhim noted Paul still hopes to do so in a two-fight deal that would also include a match in the Super Fight division. Boxing former UFC fighters is nothing new for Paul, but competing in a mixed martial arts competition would be a new and significant challenge.

It would also bring plenty of attention to the league in which he is now involved.