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Morning Report: Jake Paul invests in UFC’s parent company Endeavor with the goal of fixing UFC fighter pay from ‘within’

Jake Paul v Tyron Woodley Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

At the start of 2022, Jake Paul and Dana White got into a heated back-and-forth over social media, with Paul offering to retire from boxing and compete in the UFC if White raised fighter pay and provided long-term healthcare. White did not take the bait, instead trashing Paul’s manager as a “scumbag” and suggesting that Paul does steroids. And so, having made no discernible headway in this battle, Paul is now attacking the problem for a new angle.

On Tuesday morning, Paul announced via his Twitter that he has invested in Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC, with the intent of driving from within the change he has campaigned for publicly.

I’ve invested in EDR (UFC) stock with my partner Geoffrey Woo to focus on UFCs ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) standards relating to fighters. We believe EDR can drive long-term economic value by increasing UFC fighter pay & providing them healthcare. Reaching out to (Engine No. 1 investment group) to partner on this “endeavor”.

In 2016, Endeavor, then WME-IMG, acquired the UFC for $4 billion. As a publicly traded company, Paul and his business associates are free to invest in the UFC’s parent company which will then grant them access to shareholder meetings and give them a voice in shaping the future of the company and its subsidiaries. Paul’s partner, Geoffrey Woo, then went into detail about how they plan to bring about the changes that Paul has championed, saying they hope to use their ownership stake to convince fellow shareholders and management to “do the right thing.”

Jake Paul, our partners, and I are excited to announce our latest (Anti Fund Investment Fund) investment — Endeavor (NYSE: EDR), the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship — and our goals for the business as impact investors & venture capitalists.

My partner Jake has lead the way in changing the business of combat sports by not just talking about it, but being about it — fighter pay, healthcare, & championing women’s sport. And today is our next step in our vision of revolutionizing the industry.

UFC has faced a rising chorus of criticism for the exploitation of its athletes — the (heart) of biz. The ratio of revenue going to athletes vs. owners & leagues is well below industry standard. This disparity hurts long-term shareholder value & this is not going to magically change.

Jake is the archetype of the future, where individual transcends the machine. This is happening across all sectors — media, entertainment, & tech start ups where dynamic, innovative individuals & creators are bargaining toe-to-toe w the owners, the institutions, and the academy.

We believe the best way to accelerate this inevitable revolution is to lead it from within the UFC as co-owners & impact investors. We will use our investment stake to rally fans, athletes, fellow shareholders, and management to do the right thing.

Who am I? I come from Silicon Valley & web3/crypto. Skin in the game, shared equity, and long-term alignment is the underlying incentive model that made Silicon Valley and crypto the most impactful business models of the last 20 years. We intend to apply these models to the UFC.

I invite likeminded shareholders, our Board, our largest institutional to the smallest individual owners of EDR / UFC to join Jake, Anti Fund, and I to drive management change to upgrade sport culture, whilst capturing outsized long-term equity value.

It’s not just the right thing to do, but the profitable one.

It’s unclear at this time how much Paul has invested in this venture or what the likelihood of success will be in raising fighter pay and providing healthcare to UFC fighters; after all, that $4 billion price tag needs to be paid. But at the very least, this is another shot across the bow from Paul towards Dana White and a savvy promotional move from “The Problem Child.”


TOP STORIES

Negotiation. Francis Ngannou estimates $7 million loss not signing UFC deal, but ‘freedom doesn’t work with money’.

Surgery. Francis Ngannou likely headed to surgery after fighting on badly damaged knee at UFC 270.

Focus. Vanessa Demopoulos quit stripping ‘to focus full-time on MMA’ ahead of UFC 270 win.

Out. Kenny Florian gives his understanding of why he is no longer on UFC broadcasts.


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour.

Francis Ngannou from The MMA Hour - it’s an important interview.

Ngannou talking about boxing.

Don Frye punched someone at UFC 270.


LISTEN UP

The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 270, Francis Ngannou, and Figueiredo-Moreno III.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns still chirping.

Ngannou.

Friendship.

Mike Tyson.

Back at it.

Damn, time flies.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jussier Formiga (23-8) vs. Felipe Burns (9-7); LFA 124, Feb. 11.

Windson Ramos (4-1, 1 NC) vs. Clayton Carpenter (5-0); LFA 124, Feb. 11.

Arnold Allen (17-1) vs. Dan Hooker (21-11); UFC London, Mar. 19.

Gunnar Nelson (17-5-1) vs. Claudio Silva (14-3); UFC London, Mar. 19.

Chris Barnett (22-7) vs. Martin Buday (9-1); UFC Fight Night, Apr. 16.

Francisco Figueiredo (12-4-1, 1 NC) vs. Danel da Silva (11-2); UFC Fight Night, Apr. 30.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I remain skeptical that Jake Paul cares about anything more than self-promotion but man, the dude knows how to get wins. If he gets nothing else from this, Paul is almost certainly to exclusively start calling Dana White “my employee.” Easy wins and hell, maybe he actually can drive change from within.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.