Demetrious Johnson Defends The Likes Of Jake And Logan Paul
The number one ranked ONE flyweight Demetrious Johnson says he supports Jake and Logan Paul, and other social media celebrities, entering the combat sports realm.
Jake and his brother Logan have taken the boxing world by storm in recent months. The younger sibling improved his professional record to 3-0 when he TKO’d Ben Askren in the first round in their boxing match in April, and is now set to face Tyron Woodley on August 28th.
While big brother Logan went all eight rounds with Floyd Mayweather in their boxing exhibition earlier this month, and is now talking about a potential boxing match with Mike Tyson.
The Paul brothers are making millions in the ring, something that doesn’t sit well with many professional MMA fighters, who are banking far less in comparison. Among those very vocal about the disparity in pay between MMA fighters and social media stars taking up boxing are UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and top middleweight contender, Paulo Costa.
‘Their Brand Sells’
Speaking to ONE Championship however, Johnson said that YouTubers and TikTokers are making millions in combat sports because they have built huge followings over the years.
“I support the YouTubers and the TikTokers. The thing is, it’s about making money. Those guys have such a big following,” Johnson said. “A lot of the athletes are complaining about how Jake Paul and Logan Paul are making million-dollar paydays when us athletes who have been in the sport for years will never see a payday like that, but the reality is that your brand, your likeness, and your following is what sells. I have learned that from when I was in a North American-based promotion, and it’s proven to this day.”
Access To The Best Trainers
With money in the bank and time on their hands, Johnson believes entertainers like Jake and Logan can easily afford world-class trainers and pursue combat sports full-time.
“When you have millions of dollars and you don’t have to do a nine-to-five job, you have the best access to trainers, you have the best access to nutrition, and you train for eight weeks for somebody, you are going to become the product of something,” Johnson said.
“People think Jake and Logan Paul just got off the couch playing video games. That’s not the case. These guys train like full-time athletes. They train better than some professional athletes who’ve been in the game for five or ten years.”
Like many of his fellow MMA fighters, ‘Mighty Mouse’ also likes the idea of competing against a social media star, but preferably in the form of an exhibition for the sake of a charity.
“Doing a fun charity event would be more up my alley, I think. Like Floyd Mayweather said, those are fights to those guys, but it’s an exhibition to him,” Johnson said. “So for me to fight a YouTuber or Twitch [streamer] the same size as me, I would be more inclined to do that for charity. Obviously, I would love to get paid for it because I‘m taking a risk, but I wouldn’t mind doing it for the charity aspect of it.”
In a boxing match earlier this month, YouTuber Austin McBroom knocked out TikToker Bryce Hall in the third round at Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms, an event that saw YouTubers go head-to-head with TikTokers in the boxing ring. Johnson, who caught a glimpse of the fight, said that he felt like manhandling both.
“When I watch them, I just want to close the distance and wrestle and manhandle them,” Johnson said.
The consensus flyweight GOAT was knocked out in his most recent fight against ONE flyweight champion Adriano Moraes at ONE on TNT 1, and is now hoping for an immediate rematch to avenge his loss. Although he has also stated that he doesn’t mind working his way back up to a title shot, and has teased that we could see him compete in a kickboxing bout next.
Would you like to see Demetrious Johnson fight a social media star?