Jake Paul sure does have a way of pushing people’s buttons, especially in the MMA world.
Last month, Paul made headlines when he knocked out former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion Ben Askren in a boxing match at Triller Fight Club. The event was one of the most viewed fights of the year and afterwards, the YouTuber turned Disney Channel star turned celebrity boxer had no shortage of MMA fighters queuing up for a chance to fight him. Since the event though, most of those same fighters quickly moved on to other things but one man remains laser-focused on getting into the squared-circle with Paul, former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Woodley is a longtime friend and teammate of Askren and was in Askren’s corner for the Paul-Askren bout, and following Askren’s defeat, Woodley began calling to be Paul’s next opponent. However, nearly a month removed from the event and Paul has done little more than acknowledge the callout, which prompted Woodley to suggest that Paul is ducking him.
“Jake Paul is - well I guess we kind of recognize he came from Disney - but we’re expecting him to be like this f***ing macho macho man he’s playing but he’s calling out everybody but me,” Woodley told TMZ Sports. “I’m the one with real smoke with you. At the end of the day, that was Ben’s fight and I never want to take away the moment from Ben. That was his opportunity so everybody backstage is trying to get love and trying to get their name - almost the same way Jake took the shine away from Logan. They’re just Culture Vultures. He would vulch the juice from his own damn flesh and blood. His cornerman trying to take the juice from him. His whole crew moves goofy. My dogs don’t move like that.
“I was in the gym today in Miami training, looking around for Jake Paul, I ain’t seen him nowhere. He ain’t asked to fight me one time. He want to fight Dillon Danis who couldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight or Tyson Fury’s cousin but he don’t want to fight a real puncher. He wants to walk around and vulch from the culture and suck it dry and walk around and take shots with rappers and think you’re a big shot fighter. Nah, come and get this smoke for real.”
In a traditional promotional sense, a fight between Woodley and Paul would make a ton of sense. Aside from being Askren’s friend, Woodley also had a confrontation with Paul and his crew when Woodley was backstage to observe Paul’s hand wraps. Perhaps more importantly though, Woodley is available to fight. Last month, Woodley’s contract with the UFC expired and he is currently a free agent, meaning that while with other fighters there would have to be negotiations with their promoters to set up a match, Woodley can fight whenever.
“I’m in and I can actually find him,” Woodley said. “People that keep talking about fighting him, they’re not even in position to fight him. I can actually fight him. I can fight him tomorrow if I want to.”
But the question remains whether Paul would be interested in that fight happening. Woodley would present a jump in competition for Paul, who has at least suggested that is what he’s looking for; however, it’s also a huge risk. Though he has a wrestling background, Woodley is considered one of the most dangerous knockout artists in welterweight history and could be a bridge too far for the burgeoning combat sports star. But for Woodley, if you’re gonna lead the life then you’ve got to live the life and risking a brutal KO is part of being a professional boxer.
“I just think that some people need to be taught a lesson,” Woodley said. “At the end of the day, you can’t just sit here and think that real motherf***ers that put their time in this - yeah if you want to get in here and get a couple fights and make some money because you’ve got so many subscribers and you did something dope in another lane, I’m all for that. But when it comes down to you’re gonna parade around and act like you’re a straight, ‘Oh I’m a boxer, everybody’s scared of me, I’m this, I’m that’ and then you’re talking s*** about my dog, now we got to go.”
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