Markus Perez, a UFC veteran, is scheduled to fight against Joe Riggs at the Gamebred Boxing 4 event in Milwaukee on April 1. Though this will be his first boxing match as an amateur or professional boxer, Perez has previous experience in the squared circle. In 2021, he helped professional boxer Jake Paul prepare for his match against Ben Askren, along with other MMA fighters. However, Perez claims that he was never paid for his assistance, despite being promised a fee of $300.
“I beat him up in the gym, sparring him for free because this bum never paid me,” Perez told 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 stated that while his other teammates, including Raush Manfio, were paid for their services, he was never compensated. Perez believes that the reason for this may have been that others were more accepting of the situation than he was. During the sparring session, Perez said he dropped Paul with a body punch, which caused the latter to retaliate by trying to punch the back of his head. As tempers flared, Pantoja, a UFC contender who was in Perez’s corner, continued to throw fuel into the fire.
Though Paul went on to win against Askren, Woodley, and Anderson Silva, Perez is critical of his opponents, stating that they were more interested in earning money than winning the fights. Despite Paul’s recent loss to Tommy Fury, Perez expects him to continue seeking out lucrative matches.
“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.’”
As Perez prepares for his new boxing career, he remains adamant about his previous experience with Jake Paul. “That’s dirty. Why won’t you post videos of you getting punched?” he said, in reference to Paul’s selective posting of sparring footage. Whether or not Perez receives compensation for his past sparring work, his upcoming debut against Joe Riggs will be his true test in the ring.