Home MMA NewsLatest News Jake Paul concedes fighters union ‘damn near impossible’ after ‘working nonstop’ with Anderson Silva

Jake Paul concedes fighters union ‘damn near impossible’ after ‘working nonstop’ with Anderson Silva

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Jake Paul acknowledges the significant challenges involved in creating a fighters’ union, despite his best efforts and collaboration with Anderson Silva. After their boxing match last October, Paul and Silva aimed to establish a union for MMA fighters, intending to improve their conditions, such as health insurance and better pay. Silva’s respected status in the sport was expected to attract other fighters. While progress has been made, Paul admits that the task has proven incredibly difficult.

“We have been tirelessly working behind the scenes,” Paul shared. “But I have to admit, it’s nearly impossible to crack this one [laughs]. It’s an extremely challenging endeavor. Nonetheless, we’re not deterred by the difficulties. It requires the collective efforts of many individuals, great minds, significant financial resources that we’re funding, and a substantial amount of time and thought. So, we’ve been consistently working on this project, gradually making progress day by day.”

Paul and Silva are not the first to venture into establishing a fighters’ association. In 2016, Georges St-Pierre, Donald Cerrone, Cain Velasquez, T.J. Dillashaw, and Tim Kennedy joined forces to create the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association, sharing similar objectives. However, the organization quickly faded away. Leslie Smith also attempted to initiate a UFC athletes’ union a few years later, but encountered difficulties in gaining traction. Additionally, the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association played a crucial role in advancing collective bargaining in MMA, seeking to include the sport in the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act and challenging the UFC’s business practices through an ongoing anti-trust lawsuit.

While not directly referencing past failures, Paul recognizes that this undertaking is a long-term commitment rather than an instant achievement.

“Undoubtedly, this is a significant endeavor that will span three to four years,” Paul affirmed. “It cannot happen overnight. We have been working diligently, and we remain hopeful. I believe it will greatly benefit the world of combat sports and reshape the treatment of fighters, addressing issues such as inadequate pay, lack of health insurance, and more. Hopefully, we can make a positive impact within the next few years.”

In the meantime, Paul’s boxing career continues to progress. He is set to face Nate Diaz in a 10-round match on August 5th at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Diaz will be the fourth former MMA fighter Paul has encountered, and as the fight approaches, Paul eagerly anticipates Diaz’s transition to the boxing ring.

“I imagine he’s as tough as Tyron [Woodley] and possesses the same durability and stamina. He may even have a more unorthodox style compared to Anderson. His striking ability is on par with both Anderson and Tyron, and perhaps he could even be a better boxer than both due to his experience working with Andre Ward… It will be fascinating to witness his skill level.”

If Paul manages to defeat Diaz, perhaps he can convince Stockton’s beloved native to join the fighters’ union as well.

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