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‘They’re just making money’ – PFL Europe contender Frans Mlambo defends influencer fighting scene

Former Bellator and current PFL Europe contender Frans Mlambo revealed he can’t ‘hate’ on the current wave of influencer fighters.

Exhibition, YouTuber and influencer boxing has grown in popularity over recent years.

The trend is yet to have the same impact in the MMA world, though in certain parts of the world – such as Poland – freak fight events sell out arenas and garner tonnes of attention.

On one hand, it’s easy to see why some would have a problem with that. Professional fighters dedicate their lives to the sport and most will never attain the level of popularity or sell as many tickets as some of the influencer events in MMA and boxing.

Nevertheless, Mlambo has a certain level of respect for internet personalities making big money in the sport.

“I wish I had the skills to be savvy that way,” the Irishman told Planet Sport.

“I’m just not about it. I don’t even like social media in that kind of way. I go on Instagram and I tried to go off it as soon as possible.

“But at the same time, I’m fully aware that it’s something you need to be good at, it’s a good platform to advertise, to sell yourself out there, to show people your day-to-day. 

“But I don’t really want people seeing my day-to-day. What you need to do to be successful on social media kind of goes everything that I believe in. It’s a tricky one for me in that way.

“But when it comes to all them Logan Paul’s and that, these dudes are just making money. I don’t think I can hate on that because they’re doing exactly what I want to do. But they’re just doing it an easier way.

“They obviously put in a different type of work, I’m all about that but how they’re doing it is by bringing a new demographic in. They already have millions of fans that are interested.

“It kind of benefits us as well so I don’t know if I can hate on that, but at the same time, it does sound a bit crazy when you’re training so long to fight and then these guys come out of nowhere.

“People do say ‘this guy is running the sport’ but they’re just making money. Would you not do the same thing if you had the same type of mindset? I think you would.”

Mlambo defeated Moktar Benkaci in Paris earlier this month to stamp his name in the PFL Europe bantamweight championship fight. 

The 32-year-old will now take on Khurshed Kakhorov in Dublin for the $100,000 prize and the chance to compete on the PFL’s global roster.

The championship bout will take place on December 8. 

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