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UFC's Dana White on Jake Paul: 'The Whole Thing Is F--king Mind-Boggling to Me'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2021

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, UFC President Dana White speaks at a news conference in New York. UFC 249 has been canceled after ESPN and parent company Disney stopped White's plan to keep fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic. After defiantly vowing for weeks to maintain a regular schedule of fights, White announced the decision to cease competition Thursday, April 9, on ESPN, the UFC's broadcast partner. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

UFC President Dana White might not understand the hype surrounding Jake Paul, but he respects the hustle.

"He knocked out an NBA guy that was 40 years old and 30 pounds less than him," White told reporters after UFC 261. "I don't even know what to think about the Askren thing. The whole thing is f--king mind-boggling to me, but good for him. Grab that money while you can, kid."

Paul is a YouTube star who is 3-0 to begin his professional boxing career, including wins over former NBA player Nate Robinson and former MMA competitor Ben Askren. He defeated Askren by first-round knockout earlier this month.

The high-profile bouts have landed Paul major payouts, telling ESPN that he made "eight figures" in his win over Robinson, via Jordan Heck of Sporting News. He had a $690,000 purse against Askren with a chance to get even more based on pay-per-view buys.

Paul's notoriety has grown through the UFC world and became a focal point for a stretch during UFC 261. 

It could lead to more big-money fights in the future, even if he never faces a real boxer.

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