Jake Paul made quite a statement with his unanimous decision win over UFC legend Anderson Silva on Saturday, but he wasted no time turning his attention to future opponents.
Tommy Fury was one name mentioned during the broadcast as a potential next step for the 25-year-old social influencer turned boxer, but Paul had other ideas, thanks to a backstage altercation that got his attention following the event.
“Nate Diaz was here acting like a b****,” Paul said at the post-fight press conference for Saturday’s pay-per-view event. “Everyone wants that fight. He tried to fight people in the hallway. Nate, stop fighting people for free. Let’s do it in the ring. I know you’re a little slow, buddy, but it’s OK, we can make that fight happen.”
Multiple videos popped up during the event that showed Diaz and his entourage engaged with members of Paul’s team before security eventually stepped in to separate them. It appeared Diaz actually slapped somebody from Paul’s team before the groups were pulled apart and a possible melee was avoided.
Paul, who moved to a perfect 6-0 in his boxing career with the win over Silva, didn’t find out about the incident until after his fight, but now it appears Diaz has rocketed to the top of his hit list.
“I haven’t seen the video, and I didn’t really know what happened,” Paul said. “I just know there was an altercation with my team. I was focused on what was going on, and I was made aware of it afterward.
“It’s typical of him. It’s what he likes to do. He’s a street gangster. He likes to act tough, and he’s really not. Why are you trying to beat somebody up in a hallway, bro?”
Diaz attended the fight as a guest and to show support for his teammate and close friend Chris Avila, who picked up a lopsided decision in a fight against YouTube celebrity Dr. Mike Varshavski in the main card’s opening bout.
Following his last fight in the UFC, a win over Tony Ferguson in September, Diaz completed his contract with the promotion and planned to test free agency. A potential matchup against Paul has definitely intrigued him in the past, and it appeared the matchup was one step closer to reality.
While Diaz got the majority of Paul’s attention when it came to his next opponent, the always-outspoken fighter also addressd UFC President Dana White.
Paul and White have engaged in a very public war of words over the past couple of years, and the Ohio native escalated that rivalry, appearing to goad the UFC executive to respond.
Paul again teased plans to start a fighters’ union after blasting pay practices in the UFC. As part of a pre-fight wager, Paul also got Silva on board to help assist him with an association that he hoped would result in better treatment for all combat sports athletes.
“Dana? Dana? Dana?” Paul said. “Bro, you said I wouldn’t do this, and I did it and with flying colors. He’s in hiding. He’s trying to do everything he can to stop my run, to sabotage my fights. He hates me. He hates what I’m doing. He hates that I’m exposing his business. Now we’re going to band together and create a united fighters’ association to help all MMA fighters and boxers to get more fighter pay, long term healthcare.
“That’s a big, big undertaking that I’ve been wanting to do the whole entire time of my career since I first met [my business partner] Nakisa [Bidarian]. I said that to him on the first day. I want to make a fighters’ union. So Dana White can suck this d***.”