Dillon Danis claims he’s paying Bellator for the right to box KSI.
On Jan. 14, Danis is set to make his long-awaited return to combat sports when he faces YouTube personality KSI in a boxing match. The former BJJ prospect and nascent MMA fighter has been sidelined for over three years while dealing with injuries, and he now makes his return to fighting in the squared circle. According to him, he’s making a king’s ransom to do so.
“I’m still the most relevant at 2-0, and I’m about to make the biggest bag out of anybody in MMA, active,” Danis told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I’m not going to say [how much], but it’s way more than anybody. Once it comes out, then you can see. It’ll come out. I’m telling you, I’m making more money than any UFC champion right now.”
“I’m 2-0 and I’m about to make more money than any guy in MMA right now,” Danis continued later. “100 percent… OK, Izzy [Israel Adesanya], because he gets the pay-per-view and things like that, it actually might be close to Izzy, and Conor’s not fighting right now. I’m telling you. I saw what Paulo [Costa] was supposed to make against [Robert] Whittaker [$70,000 show, $70,000 win], and that’s what I was getting in my first fight for Bellator. That’s nothing. It’s embarrassing. I got more than that in my first fight in Bellator.”
Danis didn’t stop there. After claiming to be making more money than any UFC fighter, he said he’s also likely spending more as well, because he had to pay Bellator for the right to box KSI.
“I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about how I had to do that, because Showtime and DAZN are rivals, so I had to pay a hefty fee,” Danis said. “It’s a lot of money. What I’m paying Coker to let me fight is more than probably every UFC [fighter makes].
“I’m still with them. It would be different if I was with Showtime, because Showtime, they have a deal with them.”
A Bellator official declined comment when reached by MMA Fighting about Danis’ remarks on Wednesday. However, when the bout was first announced, Bellator CEO Scott Coker confirmed Danis is still with the promotion, saying he “didn’t want to hold him back” from an opportunity. The exec offered Danis good luck, saying he would “have your hands full” with KSI. Some took that statement as a sign of frustration from Coker with his would-be star, and Danis doesn’t deny it.
“He wants me to come back to MMA, his star,” Danis said. “Obviously there’s no one in Bellator that’s going to bring that kind of noise. Who brings that much hype?”
“I just think that he’s mad,” Danis continued. “The big comeback should’ve been in MMA, which I agree, but why not just beat up a YouTuber for af****** ton of money?”
According to Danis, KSI was not even his first choice of boxing opponent. “El Jefe” said originally he was supposed to fight Logan Paul to set up an eventual fight with Jake Paul, but after Logan injured his knee while wrestling for WWE, they had to pivot to KSI.
“I was supposed to fight Logan,” Danis said. “Logan was completely signed. 100 percent signed, and we were going to announce it at that same date, so that same date we were going to announce me and Logan, and then he did that [wrestling] match with Roman Reigns and he blew his knee out, and then they were like, ‘Do you want to wait for Logan?’ I could’ve waited for Logan but he was like, ‘I don’t know about my knee, it could be six months,’ and I’m like, dude, I’ve been out long enough, I want to fight. So you just took KSI.
“I wanted Logan more, because we had more beef. The Pauls and us, but KSI is good too. I don’t give as***, to be honest. I’m a jiu-jitsu guy about to box for a couple million dollars.”
The Paul brothers, particularly Jake, have a long running feud with Conor McGregor, who Danis has worked with on several occasions before. KSI previously feuded with the Paul brothers, facing off against Logan in the event that kicked off the influencer boxing era, but has since become business partners with Logan.
If Danis manages to beat KSI, rebooking a boxing match with Logan Paul might be his next logical matchup. He certainly believes that’s what’s in store next at least.
“It was supposed to be guaranteed when I beat Logan,” Danis said. “It was in the contract that they wanted Jake. So I can imagine that they’re both going to be f****** begging me after this. I’m going to hurt KSI bad, dude. They’re going to see.”
Danis boxes KSI at MF & DAZN: X SEries 004 on Jan. 14, at Wembley Arena in London.