A massive combat sports event went down over the weekend, and shockingly enough it did not involve the UFC or any major boxing promoters. Instead, a group of YouTube and Twitch celebrities ganged together to put on a celebrity boxing event headlined by Logan Paul vs. KSI. More than 20,000 people gathered at Manchester Arena and a million more paid $10 to watch the two streamers paw and clinch for six rounds en route to a majority draw.
We’ll see whether a rematch between Paul and KSI planned for early 2019 still draws similar numbers, but with over 30 million YouTube subscribers between the two of them, anything is possible. Those figures easily explain the event’s success, but according to former MMA fighter and hot take master Brendan Schaub, what it really does is underscores just how terribly the UFC is doing these days.
“Everyone goes ‘Being a promoter is so difficult.’ Really? These kids have zero background!” Schaub said on his Below the Belt podcast (via MMA Fighting). “They both decided ‘Hey, we both have a following,’ and they did it all their own. I’m sure they lined up with some help to acquire the arena and get the ticket sales and all that, but for the most part two famous guys showed you how easy it is to promote and sell a fight. It is not rocket science.
“We give way too much respect to promoters,” he continued. “They are not that skilled. It’s very obvious who should be fighting, what fight to make, how to build a fight. When a fight does not sell, that’s when you realize how s**ty a promoter is. Whenever there’s two headline UFC fighters, both those guys are so f**king talented it’s not even funny. For those fights not to sell should not rely on a fighter. That’s where a promoter or the marketing business of the UFC, or name whatever boxing promoter you want, should come into play. It is not the responsibility of them, them being the fighters.”