Nate Diaz is ‘living his dream’ against Jake Paul
That is according to Zach Rosenfield, his long time representative and the president of Real Fighting, inc., the promotional company the two have founded.
Apparently you can ignore the disdain Diaz has shown in the lead up to this fight. His disdain of his opponent, of the route taken by said opponent to become a professional fighter, and of the job of promoting of having to promote their event. It’s just what makes Nate, Nate.
”He’s enjoyed it,” Rosenfield says about the experience of putting on this fight versus YouTube influencer/boxer, Jake Paul.
“He’s enjoyed the process of having partners rather than working for someone. Enjoying not leasing out his services. It’s nice to be your own boss.”
Nate Diaz and Jake Paul are business partners for this event
Diaz and Paul may be opponents, but they will also very much be partners in the event.
Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions and Nate Diaz’s Real Fighting, Inc. are 50/50 when it comes to anything involved with it.
Their joint venture will pool all the revenue it collects, cover all the event costs together, and then split the net equally between them.
While not uncommon with top boxers, this is pretty unheard of in MMA for a fighter to have this kind of say and stake in one of their own events.
Fighters are typically best viewed as something akin to day laborers, paid by a promoter to show up, perform and then wait for the next call.
Even the other MMA fighters that previously crossed over to box, operated as clear B-sides.
Nate Diaz is not the b-side fighter against Jake Paul
Nate Diaz though gets the same A-side benefits as Paul. That means not only the same billing, but that he gets to stock the undercard with his RFI boxers, and that he will have joint-ownership of the footage with Paul once the fight is done.
It also means that Diaz and Paul are the ones splitting all the revenue coming in.
Nate Diaz’s cut is generous
And what will they be splitting? According to Rosenfield, Diaz will be getting a cut of everything: The pay-per-view, which they are partnering with DAZN for; The commercial (bar) pay-per-views; Tickets, with the gate projected to be over $3 million; Merchandise. And all levels of sponsorships, both in and out of the ring.
“Next time you watch a fight,” Rosenfield tells me, “try to notice every single brand that’s associated with that fight. What’s on the canvas, the ring or cage, on the broadcast.
“Every single one of those was approved by the partnership of this fight and we will see [a cut of the revenues from it.]”
All of those sponsorship dollars apparently add up. Rosenfield told ESPN that the two boxers will earn seven figures each from just the sponsors that appear on the ring.
DAZN is the third partner in Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz
The third party involved in staging the event is DAZN, which holds the domestic and international broadcast rights of the pay-per-view and will be handling the broadcast production (cameras, crew, announcing team, etc.).
This will be available not just on their own streaming services, but multiple other platforms, including traditional cable and satellite as well as other OTT services, such as ESPN+, likely in the hopes that the increased availability of the fight will assist with sales.
According to Rosenfield, it is a very favorable deal – for all the parties.
“DAZN is very comfortable with it. With what the guarantee was and with the equitable partnership. After speaking to different distributors we felt that DAZN had the best vision.”
That vision includes a large guarantee which industry sources reported to me as eight-figures “in the mid to high teens range.” (An amount they viewed as representing an overpayment by DAZN.)
After the broadcaster has recovered its expenses, every additional dollar made globally will be shared between the 3 camps in what was described as “an equitable split.”
Rosenfield also told ESPN that Paul and Diaz will each earn “well into the eight figures.” When I asked him about how much Nate stands to make, he was more vague but noted the deal was structured “very similar to that of a top boxer,” and that “fans would be shocked by the amount. It would definitely make you consider wanting to box.”
Boxers get the lion’s share of revenue
As we have seen with recent boxing matches, like Tank Davis vs Ryan Garcia and Bud Crawford vs Errol Spence, a successful event can generate huge winnings for the participants.
Each of those men is thought to have earned 10s of millions dollars in their respective contests.
This isn’t because boxing generates more money than MMA (although those two matches were spectacularly successful) but instead because the boxers, specifically those who an event is centered around, get the lion’s share of the revenue.
It is not unheard of for the stars in boxing to collect seventy to eighty percent – or more – of an event’s revenue.
Based on the various projected revenue streams for this match, industry veterans told me an eight figure purse was not implausible. The DAZN guaranteed fee basically assures the event will be successful for the Diaz and Paul.
Easily the biggest pay day of Nate Diaz’s career
How successful is the question, but Diaz will surely be looking at what is easily the highest payday of his career, dwarfing the slightly more than $4 million he supposedly earned in his rematch with Conor Mcgregor.
Depending on how well it sells on pay-per-view it could also possibly match or eclipse his entire career’s earnings in MMA (between $15 million to $20 million according to my estimation.)
With such large amounts being discussed, one would assume that other fighters would try to follow the same path as Diaz towards boxing gold.
The one problem is they are not Diaz – or Ngannou or McGregor. Interest in seeing these three box has been organic, with the fans themselves driving the talk.
This path isn’t open to many other MMA fighters
For other fighters, no matter how successful they are, the interest does not seem to be there, as Kamaru Usman found out when he tried to will a match with Canelo Alvarez that no one besides Usman wanted to see.
The big money to be found in boxing is therefore likely limited to just those few fighters.
In fact there is plenty of talk that perhaps this match was made too late. That the interest is no longer there for it. In which case, it demonstrates not only is there only a fewer MMA fighters fans are interested in boxing but the window for opportunity is likely short as well.
Timing of UFC departure is critical
This makes the matter of how one can exit the UFC in a timely fashion, all the more important. Very few fights are willing to take the risks or have to face the same hurdles that Ngannou and Diaz did in order to finish their contracts. Diaz had the added difficulty of operating under an older contract, one that did not have a sunset clause.
While Diaz is amicable with the UFC now, his exit from the UFC was anything but. It took him 6 years to finish his 5-fight deal, with the last few years drawn out as the UFC seemed intent on compelling him to either fight Khamzat Chimaev or getting him to sign an extension in order to fight someone else.
Everytime he refused to do either he contract was extended again. Eventually he conceded to the Chimaev fight but, as fate would have it, that became a Tony Ferguson fight after Chimaev missed wait.
Few other fighters would be willing to go down that same road in order to be free of their contracts, and fewer still could expect that kind of good fortune waiting for them at the end.
Nate Diaz remains one of a kind.
Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz results
You can follow along with all the results and highlights from Paul vs. Diaz: Ready 4 War here.
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