YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul donated $5,000 to UFC flyweight Sarah Alpar through her GoFundMe page on Wednesday, something that left the 30-year-old fighter in shock.
That quickly prompted Triller Fight Club, Paul’s old promoter, and others to donate to her campaign as well — which raised over her goal of $30,000.
“I got this message and it was this person that I saw a little check mark, and it said, ‘Jake Paul sent you a message,’” Alpar said, via MMA Fighting. “I was like, ‘What? You know my existence?’”
Alpar launched campaign to help cover training costs
Alpar, a former LFA bantamweight champion, landed a UFC contract in 2019. She made her debut in September, but lost to Jessica-Rose Clark. She’s next set to fight Erin Blanchfield on Sept. 18. Alpar was set to take on Stephanie Egger earlier this year, but that bout was canceled due to COVID-19.
While she made it to the UFC after a successful "Contender Series" run, Alpar struggled financially and realized that she needed help if she wanted to train full time. The 30-year-old’s part-time job at Starbucks and teaching jiu-jitsu lessons wasn’t cutting it.
So, on Friday, she launched her GoFundMe campaign.
“I turned 30, and I don’t know, it was a midlife crisis moment? Who knows what the reason was, but I was like, I need to make this happen,” she said, via MMA Fighting. “I’m not getting any younger. What do I need to do?”
Paul donates, again slams UFC over pay
Paul, who has slammed UFC president Dana White over the company’s practices of paying their fighters, again took a shot at the UFC when he announced his donation to Alpar on Twitter.
“SMH … Imagine a rookie in the NBA had to start a GoFundMe to play,” he wrote, in part.
Triller then followed suit, and said in a statement that “the UFC is not paying her enough to support herself and train.”
“We are honored to help Sarah as she continues her march towards becoming a world champion,” Triller’s chief boxing officer Peter Kahn said in a statement. “Sarah and many underpaid UFC fighters are starting at a disadvantage when they have to work other jobs while putting their bodies and brains through the most rigorous training one could imagine. It’s sad to see such talented fighters making less than the UFC ring/round card girls.”
Alpar, though, said she has no hard feelings toward the UFC.
“I don’t have anything on UFC. I got in there and tried to fight, and this happens and that happens. It’s just business,” she said, via MMA Fighting. “They’ve given me more than any other organization has. I can’t attack them for anything. It’s not their fault that [opponent] Stephanie [Egger] got COVID and couldn’t fight. They tried to find me somebody.
“I don’t blame them for my situation, I’m just in the situation that I’m in. It is what it is. But I’m trying the best I can, and I want to do great big things and I want to be a role model and I love to fight. So this is what I chose, and I asked for some help.”
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