JAKE PAUL SIGNS MULTI-FIGHT DEAL WITH PFL, WILL COMPETE IN MMA
Jake Paul has made a name for himself in boxing – but is taking the leap into MMA in the PFL.
Say what you want about Jake Paul, but he’s one of the few boxers willing to test the waters in mixed martial arts. Even if they are on his terms. Jake Paul has signed a multi-fight deal with the PFL, per reports from the New York Times.
It’s not just about testing his skills inside an MMA cage – Paul and his business partner Nakisa Bidarian have equity shares in the PFL. Paul’s official title is “head of fighter advocacy” and will likely be a social media presence promoting the PFL. It’s worth noting that Bidarian – who was formerly the chief financial officer of the UFC – will take a role in the logistical side of the business.
This is all part of Paul’s master scheme to change how MMA fighter pay is structured, creating a new “Super Fight Division” in which the fighters will receive a larger portion of PPV points. While it’s unclear who Jake is planning on fighting, the PFL already has two scheduled “Super Fights,” one with Paul and the other with their former women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison.
However, during his interview about his PFL deal, Paul wasn’t shy about naming a fighter he’s had his eye on for a boxing match. “I would beat Nate Diaz up in a MMA fight,” Paul boldly stated. “There’s nothing he could do. To me, I’ve always felt like I’ve jumped in the deep end.”
Jake Paul’s an undefeated boxer, though most of his competition has come in the way of “celebrity” boxing matches against fellow Youtubers and retired MMA fighters like Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, and Anderson Silva. The plan seems to be to continue along that path – this time, in a different combat sport. In addition to trying to change the way fighters are paid, Paul is introducing celebrity fights into mixed martial arts.
PFL’s chairman Donn Davis stands behind Paul’s message about restructuring fighter pay in MMA, stating “what makes PFL different is we’re coming out with a true economic partnership for fighters.”
Peter Murray, PFL’s chief executive, reiterated the sentiment. “[The PFL is] giving top fighters in the world an opportunity to compete on a global stage against the best talent in the world,” Murray stated. “And an opportunity on a guaranteed basis to earn more money to fight.”
Paul posted a video to his YouTube channel shortly after the article from the New York Times was published, announcing his plan to fight in MMA in 2023.
Regardless of whether Paul’s intentions are pure or this is just another publicity stunt, many fight fans will be excited to see what he can do – or can’t – in an MMA bout.