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Sean O’Malley has backed UFC president Dana White over his stance on fighter pay, following criticism from Jake Paul.
Paul and White have been embroiled in a heated row in recent weeks after the YouTuber-turned-boxer publicly criticised the UFC’s pay structure.
Paul had promised to immediately retire from boxing and fight Jorge Masvidal in the UFC - if White agreed to a set of conditions, which included a pay increase for fighters and long-term healthcare.
He also called for UFC fighters to be guaranteed 50 per cent of the company’s annual revenue.
White played down Paul’s challenge and issued one of his own which consisted of drug testing the 24-year-old, who now holds a 5-0 record in professional boxing after beating former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in their rematch in December.
UFC bantamweight star O’Malley has offered his backing to White and says he understands his current stance towards pay, at least from a business perspective.
Speaking on his podcast, the TimboSugarShow, O’Malley said: “I don’t even blame [White].
“It’s like some of these people have zero following. They’re not making the UFC one hundred thousand.
“They’re not making the UFC fifty thousand – they’re not making the UFC any money, really.
“But that’s just from a business perspective, from Dana’s business perspective, and I can see that.”
O’Malley has previously criticised the UFC over his own salary and has said he wants to be paid “what he’s worth”.
The 26-year-old reportedly received a base salary of $60,000 (£44,154) for his fight against Thomas Almedia at UFC 260 in March.
Speaking on his podcast after beating Kris Moutinho at UFC 264, O’Malley said: "Why do they have a problem paying someone what they’re worth?
"That shouldn't be an issue.”
Meanwhile, former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker agrees with Paul that better healthcare should be provided for fighters.
He told The Daily Mirror: “All the chips are in the company’s playing field. I would certainly love some healthcare.
“I would love that long-term post-fighting career security and I’m sure every fighter would.’
He added: “I would like different things to change. But I’m not crying over spilt milk. It is what it is.
“I’m very blessed to be able to do what I do for a living anyway. Instead of asking for what I don’t have, I’m grateful for what I do have.”
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