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Morning Report: Firas Zahabi suggests Jake Paul is taking PEDs and says it will ‘absolutely’ make a difference

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Jake Paul v Tyron Woodley - Press Conference
Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley
Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Later this month, former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley faces upstart celebrity boxer Jake Paul in an eight-round boxing match in Cleveland. The bout was set up after Paul obliterated Woodley’s friend and training partner Ben Askren back in April, disappointing MMA fans around the world who were hoping Askren would shut Paul up. Now, as this fight draws near, MMA fans are once again pulling for their chosen avatar to stop the rise of the younger Paul brother. Unfortunately, according to famed MMA coach Firas Zahabi, Woodley may also end up falling to Paul.

“The guy he’s fighting is bigger. He’s bigger and he’s a big puncher....” Zahabi said on the Tristar Gym YouTube channel. “We’ve seen Ben Askren get hit by a who’s who of MMA with a four-ounce glove and he took it every time. He’s never been knocked out cold save the knee from (Jorge) Masvidal.... Take that flying knee away, nobody has ever laid out Askren the way Jake Paul did. It was very surprising, at least to me.”

Despite the flak Paul gets for being a former Disney Channel star, the YouTuber has shown an actual talent for the sweet science. Through three professional bouts, Paul has recorded three KOs, all within the first two rounds and if nothing else, Paul at least appears to be a natural power puncher; or, according to Zahabi, perhaps he’s not so natural at all.

“That’s one of my number one factors. I think Jake Paul’s corner, they’re gonna be on all sorts of substances,” Zahabi said. “I was holding back, I didn’t want to say. ... I don’t think they test. Maybe the week of the fight, but there’s no USADA and I didn’t wanna say, but I think that’s a major factor. When I tell you guys he’s bigger and stronger and more athletic, I think, basically, he’s gonna be on PEDs. I hate to say it, but I definitely think Jake Paul’s gonna be on PEDs. It exists in the world of boxing just like it exists in MMA, and I don’t think Tyron will be on PEDs. I think Tyron will be totally natural. Does it make a difference? It absolutely does.”

The Ohio Athletic Commission does require urinalysis before and after bouts but neither Woodley nor Paul have insisted on measures beyond that. Neither man has ever been associated with PED usage in the past and it’s entirely possible Woodley would not care even if Paul were to be taking banned substances, as that could jeopardize the bout which Woodley has said is the biggest purse of his career. Zahabi says that mentality could come back to bite Woodley but ultimately, Zahabi says he’s siding with “The Chosen One” to get things done in the later rounds.

“Tyron is doing this for the money,” Zahabi said. “He has no prestige, he has nothing to gain from beating Jake Paul. The payday must be amazing. I hope it’s amazing. I think Jake has more incentive to win. You fight differently. You train differently. You’re willing to take more punishment. I think it would be very embarrassing for Tyron Woodley to lose this fight. It would be very embarrassing for Tyron and MMA.

“I think that Jake Paul can win in the first two or three rounds but he should not have the experience to win the later rounds, technically speaking, he should not. If Tyron is training and taking this seriously, I think he should beat Jake Paul in the later rounds. But can Jake Paul steal the show by jumping on Tyron Woodley early in the fight and knocking him out? It’s possible...

“We’re gonna see, is Jake Paul all hype or is he actually, possibly, an up-and-coming star?”


TOP STORIES

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Reprimand. John McCarthy blasts Texas judge for controversial UFC 265 scorecard, Twitter defense: ‘Learn how to be an actual official’.

Salt. Tim Johnson to critics of Fedor Emelianenko matchup: ‘You’d be stupid not to watch this fight’.

Money. Chad Mendes thanks UFC for BKFC permission, but ‘not a chance in hell’ to return under current contract.

Boxing. Anderson Silva vs. Tito Ortiz targeted for boxing match as part of De La Hoya vs. Belfort card on Sept. 11.


VIDEO STEW

The final A-Side Live Chat.

UFC 265: Fight Motion

Top finishes featuring Bellator 264 fighters.

Khamzat squashes the beef with Khabib.


LISTEN UP

Heavy Hands. Discussing Ciryl Gane and Jose Aldo.

UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Rickson Gracie and Rafael Fiziev.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Conor is elite at deleting Tweets.

I dunno, Conor might want to start focusing on some of the things he can’t do, too.

Training.

Matchmaking.

Callout.

Dude, you literally just lost.

Paid.

Figgy Smalls has a statue.

Controversial opinion.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Kevin Lee (18-6) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (15-2); UFC Vegas 35, Aug. 28.

Tom Aspinall (10-2) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (14-1); UFC Vegas 36, Sep. 4.

Arman Tsarukyan (16-2) vs. Christos Giagos (19-8); UFC Fight Night, Sep. 18.

Yuki Motoya (28-9) vs. Kenta Takizawa (12-7); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Hiromasa Ogikubo (22-5-2) vs. Takafumi Otsuka (29-18-1); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Naoki Inoue (16-2) vs. Yuto Hokamura (14-9-2); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Kai Asakura (17-3) vs. A. Yoshihiro Yamaniha (18-8-4); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Ayaka Hamasaki (22-3) vs. Emi Fujino (25-11); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Koji Takeda (12-1) vs. Yusuke Yachi (22-11); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Ulka Sasaki (23-8-2) vs. Yoshinori Horie (10-3); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Shinobu Ota (0-1) vs. Yuta Kubo (0-0); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Shoji Maruyama (18-14-1) vs. Chihiro Suzuki (5-2); RIZIN 30, Sep. 19.

Alexander Hernandez (12-4) vs. Leonardo Santos (18-4-1); UFC Fight Night, Oct. 2.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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