One-time UFC light heavyweight title challenger, Anthony Smith has backed a recent movement from professional boxer and YouTuber, Jake Paul to increase fighter pay in the organization – claiming that the Ohio native is sincere.

Paul, 5-0 as a professional boxer, recently took another aim at promotional president, Dana White – claiming he would enrol in anti-doping agency, USADA testing, as well as a sign a one-fight deal with the promotion to fight two-time title challenger, Jorge Masvidal, if White increased minimum fighter pay, as well as offer fighters health insurance. 

Jake Paul improved to 5-0 in December with a stunning knockout victory over Tyron Woodley

The outspoken Ohio native also claimed he “embarrassed” the promoter’s promotion back in December when he handed former undisputed welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley a thunderous sixth round knockout in their short-notice professional boxing match rematch. 

Yet to respond to Paul’s request, White once more echoed calls for the boxer to enrol in an anti-doping programe for a period of two years, before then claiming former UFC Chief Financial Officer, Nakisa Bidarian – Paul’s manager and advisor, was a “warlock” and a “scumbag.

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Providing his thoughts on Paul’s decision to rally and campaign for an increase in fighter pay, the aforenoted, Smith explained how he believes the YouTuber was sincere in his efforts to secure fighters a larger percentage of revenue from the organization.

I think he’s (Jake Paul) honest,” Anthony Smith said on Fight Nation on Sirius XM. “I think he actually does care. Here’s the deal, we’ve had these movements where people talk about fighter pay and blah, blah, blah – it’s always people that it benefits, and I’m not meaning just fighters. In the history of the sport we’ve had people come from the outside and they want to seem like they’re some saviour and they’re gonna come in and they’re gonna save us and help us, but at the end of the day, every single one of those guys has had their own endgame.

Jake Paul has nothing to gain here, so I think do believe it, it does sound genuine, because it’s a pain in the ass,” Smith continued. “It’s hard to do and he’s still attacking it. He’s continually bringing it up for months and months and he’s not letting it go.

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Smith’s reasoning for believing Paul is genuine and sincere with his decision to attempt to help UFC fighters secure a pay increase, comes off the back of the Ohio puncher’s decision to take money from his own pocket to pay fighters on his August undercard a bonus.
I think when you reach a certain level of success yourself – Jake Paul has more money than he’ll ever need,” Smith said. “He’s got more opportunity. He’s got his YouTube channel, he’s got this boxing thing, he can continue to just fight bums and make fat checks and leave everyone else alone and not ruffle any feathers and just do his own thing but I think he actually cares, and he’s shown that.

“Even when he fought Tyron (Woodley) the first time and gave Tyron that little bump in pay,” Smith explained. “He took some of his (own) money and gave it back to the other fighters so those guys got paid. The easiest way to see if someone’s being true and honest is they are willing to put their money where their mouth is, and he’s already pulled money out of his own pocket and given it to other people. He’s done the same thing with Amanda Serrano.”

He seems to be very genuine and I think he’s just taking it on because he’s good and you do see people, extremely wealthy people that do that. They don’t have a whole lot of problems in their life, they’ve got it all figured out, they’ve got the money, the opportunities, the riches, the fame, the cars, the watches. Like, what else does Jake Paul have to do other than take on some seemingly impossible task? And he’s getting a lot of media (attention) in the process.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.