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Markus Perez: Jake Paul ‘never paid me’ $300 for sparring session because ‘I kicked his butt’

Markus Perez and Jake Paul
Photo via Markus Perez

Markus Perez makes his boxing debut on April 1 against fellow UFC veteran Joe Riggs at the Gamebred Boxing 4 card in Milwaukee, but that won’t be his first experience in the squared circle.

Perez never competed as an amateur or professional boxer, but he was enlisted by Jake Paul to assist in Paul’s preparation for his 2021 pro boxing match with Ben Askren. Paul hired other MMA fighters at the time, but Perez claims he was never paid his promised $300 fee.

“I beat him up in the gym, sparring him for free because this bum never paid me,” Perez told MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca. “[$300] is nothing, but he’s a millionaire, making $27 million out there, and can’t pay $300 for a guy just because I kicked his butt in sparring?”

Perez said other teammates and sparring partners were paid, like future PFL champion Raush Manfio, but he never received his money.

“I think that’s because others were cool,” Perez said. “Raush told me they went alright. Not with me. My [session] ended in a fight. His cornermen wanted to enter the ring and get me. He started trying to punch the back of my head because I started taunting him, and he got mad. He’s not used to this. I started showboating, keeping my hands low. I dropped him with a body punch and he got mad, so I punched him in the nose and drew blood. He got desperate.”

Perez said UFC flyweight contender Alexandre Pantoja was in his corner and kept throwing more fuel to the fire, saying things like, “Put your hands on him! Kill this playboy!’” Perez said Pantoja wasn’t allowed to film the sparring session with his phone, and Paul’s crew filmed the session but never posted the footage.

“After some time, he released a video of him knocking out several guys in sparring. He only posts what he wants,” Perez said. “That’s dirty. Why won’t you post videos of you getting punched? With your little hands and little legs up in the corner? That’s freaking dirty, man.”

Paul went on to win by first-round knockout against Askren, then defeated Tyron Woodley in back-to-back fights and dropped Anderson Silva to win via decision. However, Paul recently suffered his first setback in boxing, losing a split decision to Tommy Fury.

“He fought two grapplers, guys that can’t throw a jab,” Perez said of Paul’s career. “Anderson Silva is a MMA striker but he’s already old for MMA, he got hit too many times in the head. You see clearly that they went in there [more] for the money than for the actual win.

“In my opinion, Anderson Silva, Ben Askren, and Tyron Woodley were like, ‘I’ll make good money.’ If they were like, ‘I’ll beat this YouTuber that thinks this is a joke,’ [they would win].”

Despite the loss to a “real” boxer in Fury, Perez expects Paul to find a way to stay relevant and compete in more lucrative matches in the future.

“He’ll know how to market himself and will be back soon to fight some big name, an old man, or a grappler,” Perez said with a laugh. “Maybe he’ll call out Gordon Ryan to box, or [Marcus] ‘Buchecha.’”

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