After winning their boxing match this past August, the YouTuber turned professional fighter Jake Paul says he is more than serious about rematching Nate Diaz in mixed martial arts.
Paul moved to 7-1 in his young boxing career with a comprehensive points win over the former UFC title challenger Diaz and while he has maintained that his combat sports future will primarily come between the ropes, his signing earlier this year with the PFL has led to speculation that his first MMA bout — possibly in 2024 — could come against Diaz. And speaking to Sports Illustrated, Paul said he is all for it — but Diaz, not so much.
“I wanted the MMA fight against Nate,” he said. “Nate Diaz is the perfect opponent, but he’s ducked and keeps offering excuses. He’s demanding more money when he hasn’t made the amount of money we’re offering for an MMA fight, ever. He keeps playing these games. I would love to test my skills against him. I have a wrestling background, I have the boxing. It would be interesting.”
But before any move into MMA, Paul next month takes on his ninth professional boxing match against an opponent who comes from a pugilistic background, Andre August. It will be just the second time in his career Paul will have faced what some might describe as a ‘traditional’ boxer.
“I’m on a path where I’m growing as a fighter,” he said. “I want to win a world championship at my weight class. That’s not a marketing tactic. It’s real. Andre August is the next step in my path.
“We did the cool entertaining pay-per-views, and now we’re focusing more on me being a young boxing prospect,” Paul added. “Most prospects in their ninth fight haven’t had the same experience or eyeballs on them that I have, so I’m unique in that regard. And it’s a win-win situation for Andre August. That’s what makes him even more dangerous. This is his opportunity to change his career forever.”