Jake Paul is legitimately interested in testing himself in MMA one day in the future, but it’s highly unlikely anybody is going to lure him into the cage before he’s ready.
Well, that’s unless some promoter is ready to put up a whole lot of money that would convince the 25-year-old undefeated fighter to abandon his plans for the sport of boxing in order to focus on MMA right now.
“There is [interest to do MMA] and not in the near future but in the medium term,” Paul explained on The MMA Hour. “I would need to practice my kicks and a little more on the jiu-jitsu side for like two years, maybe two and a half years before I would do that.
“Unless the money was really right but no one’s brought anything to the table that’s interesting enough.”
This past weekend, retired UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed that he had actually reached out to Paul’s team with interest in bringing “The Problem Child” into his promotion at Eagle FC.
According to Paul, no such offer actually exists, and he’s not so sure Nurmagomedov would have the funding to afford him anyway.
“Khabib [Nurmagomedov] said, ‘We offered him a deal’ – it’s not true,” Paul said. “They never offered me anything. Eagle FC has never even done an event. Not to hate on anything they’re doing but I would need more than what I make in boxing to risk going into MMA right now.
“People would have to come $25, $35 million dollars to just start the conversation with me.”
If competing in MMA actually becomes a reality, Paul added that he would welcome the chance to compete against somebody like Nurmagomedov because he knows that would be a fight that would generate huge interest and a whole lot of revenue as well.
Of course, Nurmagomedov is retired and he still remains under contract with the UFC if he ever decided to fight again but Paul is still interested if it’s something the undefeated Russian would want to pursue.
“I would fight Khabib in MMA if they wanted to make that offer,” Paul said. “Cause that would be exciting. That would excite me, especially if I had more time to train.
“That would be a massive fight. Probably a million, 2 million pay-per-view buys and all I would have to do is work on my wrestling skills. Cause I could outstrike him standing up.”
While it seems highly unlikely that Paul will be facing Nurmagomedov or anybody else in MMA in the relatively near future, he’s still very much undecided on what comes next in his boxing career.
After laying waste to former UFC champion Tyron Woodley this past December, Paul has taken time off without actually getting back into the gym after a very busy 2021 saw him fight three times.
Perhaps the biggest problem Paul faces right now is finding a worthwhile opponent that will draw him back into another training camp, which would also pull his focus away from various business ventures that are keeping him plenty busy in the interim.
“There’s a lot going on in other aspects of my life,” Paul said. “I’m going to do these press conferences over the next two weeks here to help with the promotion around Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano and I’m very busy on the business side of things with my venture capital fund. So I haven’t even gotten back into the gym or been training at all. I need to have a discussion with my coaches but probably I would say August-September maybe. Maybe later.
“I’m trying to figure it out. Obviously if the stars align in some sort of way or I have a change of heart, then things can obviously move around but right now I don’t feel like that motivated to just go right back into another training camp.”
One name who has drawn interest as a potential opponent for Paul is former UFC champion Anderson Silva after he earned a split decision win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and then demolished UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz inside one round to go 2-0 in boxing last year.
“Yes, definitely, I would love that fight,” Paul said when asked about Silva. “Interesting story, I think he was the first celebrity I ever saw. Right when MMA was blowing up, my dad was a super big fan and we went to this local MMA event and they must have paid Anderson Silva to come because it was in Ohio so I don’t know why he would have been there.
“But I actually asked for his autograph and we took a picture with him. I’m maybe like 12 years old but I think he was the first celebrity that I met. So it would be fun to bring it back full circle and fight someone who was one of my first idols.”
When it comes to more experienced boxers, Paul mentioned Chavez Jr. as a potential opponent but truth be told, the list gets rather short after that.
“There’s really no boxers who have a big enough name to make it an interesting enough event that are really near my weight class or experience level,” Paul said. “It would basically be like fighting for the world title would be the only fight that would sell and I don’t even know who the cruiserweight champion is.
“I think ‘Canelo’ [Alvarez] was supposed to fight [Ilunga Makabu] but it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s my sixth fight and this guy’s a world champion. So nobody really has a big enough name in the boxing world than maybe Chavez Jr.”