Donald Cerrone has seen enough to believe in Jake Paul’s abilities as a boxer.
Cerrone, a UFC legend and likely future Hall of Famer, has been around the block enough to watch the rise of countless prospects who were at one point considered to be all hype. He even fought one of the biggest hype drivers of all — albeit well after the fact — when he crossed paths with Conor McGregor at UFC 246 in 2020, with Cerrone losing via 40-second knockout to the former UFC two-division champion. And following Paul’s latest boxing conquest over Anderson Silva, “Cowboy” sees plenty of similarities between the two men.
“The Jake Paul phenomenon is kind of crazy, it’s gotten everybody calling him out and it’s kind of like the big Conor [McGregor] push [from early in McGregor’s career]. That’s what I feel like is happening with Jake Paul,” Cerrone recently told Thiccc Boi. “Everyone is wanting to fight him, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t because that’s a big money fight. But you can’t take away [his wins]. Like everyone is saying those are like rigged fights — I think he’s hitting hard. You know what I mean? I really do think those are legitimate shots and strikes, and he’s been practicing boxing and [the results] are showing he’s whooping their asses.
“So I don’t think there’s any mis-hype. I think he’s got something going on there.”
The owner of the second-most wins and third-most bouts in UFC history, Cerrone hung up his own gloves in July 2022 following a submission loss to Jim Miller at UFC 276. The end of his career may not have played out how Cerrone hoped, as he went winless over his final seven UFC appearances, however the 39-year-old veteran is still a fan favorite of his era and one of the most accomplished fighters to never capture a UFC title.
But after watching former MMA champions like Silva, Tyron Woodley, and Ben Askren all get knocked out by Paul in the boxing ring, would Cerrone want to try his hand at testing Paul’s hands and possibly getting a little revenge for the MMA community in the process?
“Would I like to fight him? F***, of course,” Cerrone said. “How could I say no to f****** millions of dollars. So I would definitely go out there and do it.
“But I’m not sitting over here and saying, ‘Jake, you’re a f****** YouTuber, ain’t worth a f***.’ Nah, man. You’re making money. Make the f****** money. And if you want to throw some of that money my way, I’m with you.”