After a failed first attempt at adding the name of a recognized professional to his boxing record, YouTuber-turned-pugilist Jake Paul is back hunting mixed martial arts veterans.
Having knocked out former MMA champions Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, amassing a 6-0 slate in the process, Paul fell short against British pro Tommy Fury this past February in Saudi Arabia.
While talk of a rematch with “TNT” existed, as well as a grudge match with fellow online star KSI, it was recently confirmed that “The Problem Child” will share the ring with another former UFC fighter next.
This time, the former Disney star will be facing his most prominent MMA vet yet, with fan favorite Nate Diaz set to stand across from him inside Dallas’ American Airlines Center on August 5.
Since confirmation of the matchup last week, a host of fans, fighters, and pundits have given their takes on the pairing. And the latest to do so is as well placed as anyone to do so…
Anderson Silva Has Vested Interest In ‘Exciting’ Jake Paul vs. Nate Showdown
Since exiting the UFC in 2020, “The Spider” has crossed over to the ring. Last time out, that venture saw the Brazilian throw down with Paul in a pay-per-view main event.
And having suffered a decision loss to the Cleveland native, Silva noted that the polarizing YouTuber-turned-boxer certainly has his respect. For that reason, he sees the August 5 contest too hard to call. He did, however, acknowledge that Diaz’s combat sports experience leaves him as the favorite.
Whoever has their hand raised in Texas, though, Silva is interested in sharing the squared circle with them next.
“I’m so excited. That’s a good show for us,” Silva said. “It’s very tough, because everybody thinks that Jake is not training boxing. But Jake trains a lot. People need to respect everything Jake is doing because it’s very professional, very focused (on the) job, and I respect him a lot. Maybe who wins the fight, I fight too. Maybe, I don’t know. Let’s go see.
“It’s very hard to say who will win. Both are good fighters, very good fighters. Nate has more experience, good boxing, good cardio. I respect both. I’m waiting for the best show for us,” Silva continued. “Jake has a good coach. He is very smart and makes the short distance inside… Nate has more experience, absolutely… Nate has more timing for a couple of shots. It’s different. But let’s go see. I’m so happy to see this fight… I think (Diaz) has more experience and is the favorite.”
In his most recent victory, Paul handed Silva his post-fight UFC loss. The result came on the scorecards, but the former Disney star’s power was on display with an eighth-round knockout.
Although many responded to the bout with criticism over Paul’s choice of opponent, with some pointing to the Brazilian’s age, others noted the former UFC champ’s victory over Julio César Chávez Jr. as evidence that Paul’s success should be respected.
While he’d hoped to deal a further blow to his doubters against Fury, Paul will now need to return to the winner’s circle before perhaps making another run at legitimizing his boxing stint against a seasoned pro.