Anderson Silva backs Jake Paul’s Fighter Union

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Former rivals and opponents Anderson Silva and Jake Paul may end up meeting again. This time, however, it won’t be in a ring, it will be in a boardroom. Silva has recently come out and confirmed his support for the Fighter’s Union that was proposed by Youtuber turned boxer, Paul.

Silva’s support of the Union was brought up at the press conference before the pair fought back in late October 2022. A bet that Paul proposed to Silva was that if Paul won the fight, Silva was to assist him in creating a Fighter’s Union which would demand pay increases and other bonuses such as healthcare from big time promoters in MMA. The comment was likely deemed by many as a throwaway and after no public mention of it or a union for several months most of the population had forgotten it was even proposed. 

Yet Silva dispelled this idea in an interview with MMA Fighting where he stated that “it’s moving, it’s all in motion” when asked if there had been any update or progress with the union. Silva also stated that Paul was taking his time as he wished to set up a union legitimately and have it be viable from the get go.

A fighters union is a concept that has been spoken about by Jake Paul for several years now, naming the potential organisation the UFA (United Fighters Association). This will be the first attempt at creating a fighters union since the same feat was attempted by former welterweight champion Georges St Pierre and a few other fighters such as Donald Cerrone and TJ Dillashaw back in 2016. 

A fighters union was considered and spearheaded by GSP, Cerrone, TJ Dillashaw, Velasquez and Kennedy.

Fighter pay has long been a contentious issue in the MMA world, particularly within the UFC. Large portions of both the active roster and fanbase believe that the athletes employed in the organisation are being grossly underpaid. Paul himself has been an especially outspoken voice in this regard and has come forward before with statements calling UFC contracts “slave contracts”.

UFC President, Dana White has been adamant that he will not change the payment structure within the organisation and compares the flourishing of MMA and the UFC under his watch with the relatively sharp decline of boxing. A sport that many believe is being negatively affected by the massive amounts of money involved which can allow for the best fighters to not actively fight one another.

Many times White has stated that if someone else wished to form a promotion and pay fighters whatever they wanted they were more than welcome to. Yet seemingly no one was able to afford to compete with the UFC. That was until the arrival of the PFL which only recently has signed former UFC Heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to a major contract which is rumoured to be far more than he would have received from White and Co. Also working closely with the PFL, if Paul is successful in forming his fighters union an increased pay packet and union benefits could potentially be enough to attract many names from the UFC.

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