Jake Paul is set to make his debut in mixed martial arts (MMA) this year after signing with a key promotional rival of the UFC.
The YouTube-star-turned-fighter has announced that he has joined the fast-growing Professional Fighters League (PFL) to compete in a new pay-per-view division to be called “Super Fight”.
Paul - who has long been an outspoken critic of fighter pay in the UFC - will officially be called the “head of fighter advocacy”, promoting the PFL and its fighters and pledging that competitors in the new division will receive 50 per cent of the revenue generated as well as being free to pursue their own sponsorship deals.
Per the New York Times, Paul will also hold an equity share in the PFL - founded by American venture capitalist Donn Davis back in 2017 - along with business partner, Nakisa Bidarian.
In a YouTube video announcing his shock move into MMA in which he also continued to mock the UFC and president Dana White, the 25-year-old said he had issued a new two-fight challenge to UFC legend and now free agent Nate Diaz - a boxing match first, followed by an MMA bout six months later in the PFL.
My first MMA fight.— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) January 5, 2023
Paul went on to extol the virtues of the PFL’s in-season schedule, unique for a combat sport promotion that includes a regular season, playoffs and championship akin to team sports that sees fighters advance as long as they keep winning.
Paul - a high-school wrestler - has already established himself in boxing after older brother and fellow internet celebrity Logan, outpointing UFC icon Anderson Silva in his latest bout in Arizona in October.
He also has two boxing wins under his belt against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, as well as knocking out ex-Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren.
Paul began his boxing career with an amateur win over KSI’s brother Deji and also went on to knockout out another YouTuber in AnEsonGib and basketball player Nate Robinson, though a showdown with arch-rival Tommy Fury has still yet to materialise, as has any bout against an established boxer.