Jake Paul signs with PFL, challenges Nate Diaz to 2-bout match
Jake Paul is entering the mixed-martial arts scene, signing a multi-fight, multi-year contract with Professional Fighters League on Thursday.
Financial terms were not disclosed for Paul, however ESPN reported that his deal is the first of PFL’s newly developed “Pay-per-view Super Fight Division.”
Paul didn’t stop there, however. The social media influencer-turned-professional boxer targeted free-agent fighter Nate Diaz for a potential two-bout clash — the first being a boxing match, the second an MMA fight in the PFL.
“I’ve already disrupted boxing, and now it’s time to disrupt MMA,” Paul said in a video posted on his YouTube channel. “I know this is such a tough sport, and it’s not going to be easy, but if I could do it in boxing, I could do it in MMA.
“… I’m so dedicated to this that I offered Nate Diaz a two-fight deal. First, we box. Then six months later we fight MMA in the PFL smart cage and lay it all on the line. If that’s not (guts), then I don’t know what is. Nate Diaz, I’m down to fight you in your own damn sport. It’s a two-fight deal. Let’s make it happen.”
Paul, 25, has a 6-0 record with four knockouts as a professional boxer. He knocked out former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in 2021 and posted a victory via decision over ex-UFC middleweight star Anderson Silva.
PFL chairman and co-founder Donn Davis told ESPN that it could take a full calendar year for Paul to make his MMA debut.
“I think what’s made Jake interesting to fans is that he works hard and he doesn’t underestimate what it takes,” Davis said. “He knows he’s not ready (for his MMA debut) right now, but he’s starting to train. I think it’s going to be about one year from now, so early 2024, where you’ll see him take on his first opponent. But the kind of opponents he is thinking of will shock the world in terms of their status and name brand.”
Paul also accepted the role of head of fighter advocacy at PFL, which will allow him to promote the series’ athletes and assist in recruitment.
“As head of fighter advocacy, I will consistently promote PFL fighters and I invite all top MMA fighters, both men and women, to join the PFL and get a payday like they’ve never had before.” Paul said.
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