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A former UFC champion has slammed the organisation, saying its fighters are the "worst-paid athletes" in sport and that it's embarrassing when ex-fighters have to box YouTubers to make money.
Ben Askren was knocked out by Jake Paul in April, while ex-UFC champ Tyron Woodley takes on the social media star at the end of August. Both ex-MMA fighters have said taking on Paul has meant a career-high payday.
Meanwhile reigning UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou asked "What are we doing wrong?" when told of the reported purses earned by Logan Paul ($14 million) and Floyd Mayweather ($72 million) for their eight-round boxing exhibition.
The organisation's pay structure has now drawn stinging criticism from Sean Sherk, the UFC lightweight champion from 2006 to 2008.
The American said nothing has changed in the decade since he retired, despite the explosion in popularity of mixed martial arts and the value of UFC as a company.
"I think the UFC should be extremely embarrassed by the fact that their former champions and top-ranked fighters have to go fight YouTube stars with barely any fighting experience and make 10 times more money than they do in the UFC," said Sherk in a Facebook post.
"I've been retired for 10 years and nothing has changed in that organisation.
"UFC fighters are still the worst-paid athletes on the biggest stage. Believe me I have my stories too."
Dana White has steadfastly defended the UFC's pay and claimed that he doesn't believe the purses or pay-per-view figures around Jake Paul fights.
The younger Paul brother has continually goaded the UFC president over the pay his fighters earn.
"There's a movement, moving forward that is going to show that fighters should be getting paid more," said Paul, per Sun Sport.
"It's unfair. The UFC fighters don't have fair pay. Out of all the sports, the percentage that the owners get versus the athlete, they're the lowest.
"Francis Ngannou vs Jon Jones; that fight should happen. Dana White, pay them the $10 million. He's taking their money. They're the ones making the content.
"They're the ones getting in the ring, risking their life."
All imagery: PA Images
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