YouTuber turned professional boxer Jake Paul has signed a multi-year deal with the MMA promotion PFL.
The move will see Paul make his MMA debut on pay-per-view for the promotion in a new ‘Super Fight’ division, and he and his business partner Nakisa Bidarian also now have an equity stake in the company.
The Super Fight division will feature high-profile stars who will reportedly earn at least 50% of the PPV revenue, with ESPN and DAZN set to distribute the events.
“This is about changing M.M.A., disrupting, innovating, and creating the next big league,” said Paul, who has repeatedly been critical of the UFC and Dana White in particular due to his belief that they are underpaying fighters.
There’s no official word on who Paul’s MMA debut will be against or exactly when it will happen, but he’s already called out Nate Diaz, stating that he’ll fight him in the boxing ring and then in MMA.
“I’m so dedicated to this that I offered Nate Diaz a two-fight deal” Paul said. “First we box. Then six months later we fight MMA in the PFL. Nate Diaz, I am down to fight you in your own sport.”
However, don’t expect it to happen soon, as PFL chairman Donn Davis has since revealed that it’s more likely to be early next year before Paul sets foot in the cage.
“[Jake] knows he’s not ready [for his MMA debut] right now, but he’s starting to train,” Davis told ESPN.
“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.”