Don’t expect to see Jorge Masvidal vs. Jake Paul in the boxing ring anytime soon.
Masvidal found himself in the crosshairs of the YouTube sensation last month when Paul revealed on The MMA Hour that the UFC welterweight would be his No. 1 pick for his next opponent following Paul’s win over Tyron Woodley. After UFC president Dana White scoffed at the idea, Paul upped the ante by challenging White to a wager that would’ve seen Paul and Masvidal box on the same card as Amanda Serrano vs. Amanda Nunes.
Paul’s pitch was simple: “If we win, you let any of your fighters fight me going forward,” he wrote. “If we lose, I leave you and your exploitative business alone.”
According to Masvidal, that wager was pretty much dead on arrival.
“The UFC utterly does not give a flying f*ck about what’s-his-face,” Masvidal said recently on The MMA Hour. “So the problem is that I’m signed to the UFC, so I have to do what they say, and they pay me bigger checks. This guy talks a lot about, ‘I’m going to write you a $50 million check,’ but go look at the pay-per-views that he’s selling. He ain’t writing nobody $50 million checks. Go actually look at the f*cking numbers that they actually sold on Showtime or on Triller or whatever thing he’s talking about. He doesn’t have that money. He’s trolling the whole world saying all these big-money deals.
“Right now, where I’m at in my career, I’m going to fight the world’s best fighters. Right? We can both agree that in the f*cking UFC and at 170 pounds, there’s a lot of good guys that I can f*cking beat up. And I’m going to get the most money for it, my brother. And when I am done beating up world-class fighters, this bum will still be around — I’ll go and collect a quick paycheck for hitting him so f*cking hard in front of the whole world. Those type of options will always be there. But right now, when I’m in my prime, I’ve got to do things that people in their primes do — and that’s fight the world’s best. He’s not in that conversation.”
Masvidal has been caught in the Paul orbit since before even the Woodley fight. He made several cameos in support of Paul ahead of the YouTuber’s April boxing match against Ben Askren, however the relationship soured when Masvidal publicly predicted that his old ATT teammate Woodley would defeat Paul in the pair’s August bout. That prediction caused Paul to blast Masvidal as “an airhead” who was “losing a couple brain cells.”
And according to Masvidal, Paul has kept that sort of talk up in their private conversations.
“He got all butt hurt,” Masvidal said. “He was f*cking sending me a bunch of things in DMs, just like jokes and memes and all that type of sh*t. And I just put something to him like, ‘Man, you salty.’ Because he knows that at the end of the day, in a face-to-face, he can’t say any of that unless he has his 50 bodyguards and I’m by myself, because at the end of the day I could always just pick this little kid up and slam him through the concrete so hard that he would be invalid for the rest of his life, like he wouldn’t be able to walk.
“So he knows that. It’s in the back of his mind. So he even when he talks to me in the DMs, it’s very respectful, very chill. Like a couple jokes and stuff, but he knows you’ve got to chill, man, because I really don’t give a f*ck.”
Ultimately, Masvidal dismissed his back-and-forth with Paul as nothing more than a mere diversion. “Gamebred” is set to face Leon Edwards on December 11 at UFC 269, and he made it clear on The MMA Hour that his sole focus is to work back toward a UFC title shot. If he manages to defeat Edwards, he’ll take the first step toward doing exactly that.
So though Masvidal still plans to step into the boxing ring some day, it likely won’t be anytime soon.
“I’ve always wanted to box, and when the opportunity comes, I’m going to take it,” Masvidal said. “I’m going to make sure I get compensated well, because obviously I’m not a boxer, so I’m going to make sure that I’m compensated beyond belief.”