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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun and Mike Bohn

Jake Paul: Nate Diaz afraid to risk MMA reputation against me, ‘knows it would be really tough’

Jake Paul is on a quest to become a boxing world champion, but he’s ready to shift his focus to MMA when PFL calls.

Paul (7-1) is currently slated to face Andre August (10-1-1) in an eight-round cruiserweight bout Dec. 15 at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando, Fla. The fight headlines MVP’s Most Valuable Prospects IV and will be offered as part of the standard DAZN subscription package.

This past August, Paul defeated Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in a 10-round fight. He dropped the former UFC star in the fifth round, but Diaz recovered. Last month, Diaz’s Real Fight Inc. released an official-looking poster for a Dec. 15 boxing rematch with Paul, which Paul’s team immediately denied.

“I don’t know, I think they’re just begging,” Paul told MMA Junkie. “Pretty desperate, I guess. Wanting to make money but not actually wanting to make things happen. We’re ready, MMA, end of 2024, $10 million, which is more than he’s ever made for an MMA fight – ever. He’s sitting there asking for more money basically drunk tweeting random sh*t and random fight posters, making himself look like a fool.

“I just can’t comprehend what they’re trying to do or what they’re saying, but this is the fight game. Everyone says they want to do things, everyone calls people out, everyone blah, blah, blah, but no one actually makes sh*t happen. And that’s what I’ve looked to change in this sport and to just provide transparency to my audience about what’s actually going on with these negotiations and not being afraid to fight anyone anywhere, anytime, any place.”

Paul is ready to run things back with Diaz in MMA. Although Paul likely would be a big underdog venturing into Diaz’s world, he doesn’t see him taking the fight.

“Yeah, 100 percent,” Paul said on competing in MMA. “I’m going to start throwing knees and kicks and getting back to my Ohio Wrestling roots, shooting takedowns. I truly believe that he knows it would be a really tough fight for him, and I think that’s the thing for him where he’s like, ‘Damn, do I risk my whole MMA reputation by giving this kid a chance here?'”

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