Jake Paul has been offered a fight by former UFC champion Anthony Pettis for his MMA debut, if Nate Diaz turns down his two-fight deal.
YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul today announced that he will be joining MMA's No.2 promotion PFL, taking a behind-the-scenes role to help promote fighters and more notably agreeing to a multiple-fight deal. And he is already courting offers from a number of big name fighters, including former lightweight title holder Pettis, who has competed in the last few seasons of the PFL.
Paul has called for a two-fight deal with Pettis' former rival Diaz, insisting that after the pair meet in the boxing ring that he will rematch the veteran inside the 'smart cage'. He and Diaz have been pushing for a fight since the end of 2021, with the once lightweight title contender showing up at both of his last two fights against Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva.
After hearing the news of Paul's signing with the PFL, which stands for Professional Fighters' League, Pettis took to social media to offer his own services, writing: "Welcome to the PFL Jake Paul. More than happy to welcome you to MMA’s league if Nate isn’t available."
This isn't the first time that Pettis has expressed interest in facing Paul, and the pair almost came head-to-head last summer in New York. The UFC legend was fighting in Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater the night before Paul was due to face Hasim Rahman Jr in the main room, and would have stuck around to sit ringside had the bout not been cancelled.
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Speaking back in August, he told Mirror Fighting : "It sucks man because Jake Paul is actually training for these fights, and I think he had a couple of opponents drop out on him. I actually know Nakisa [Bidarian] very well, Nakisa is the man who is helping Jake Paul promote. I think it sucks that he lost out. I think a lot of people would have come out for that, I was planning to stay to watch that."
Bidarian is Paul's manager and helps to run his boxing promotional outfit Most Valuable Promotions, which takes care of the YouTuber's career as well as legendary women's boxer Amanda Serrano and top prospect Ashton Sylve. He will also take on a role within PFL as part of the deal with the promotion, having worked as Chief Financial Officer for the UFC.
Pettis had a difficult go of the last two PFL seasons, going 1-4 since signing with the promotion after he left the UFC. He is a lightweight, meaning he'd need to jump up two weight classes to get near 185lb Paul, but as a 39-fight veteran and former world champion he would likely still be a massive favourite if they were to fight.