Jake Paul’s next boxing match is scheduled against Tommy Fury in February, but he’s already announced plans to make a move into MMA.
After inking a deal to join the PFL roster (and invest in the tournament-based promotion), the always-outspoken social influencer turned fighter recently began learning the basics in MMA. There’s no timeline yet on when he might make his debut. Paul called out Nate Diaz, hoping they could box and then run it back in MMA.
At this stage, it’s impossible to know if Paul will become any kind of MMA prospect. But UFC welterweight Matt Brown warns that there is no playing this sport, even if he gets set up with opponents he’s supposed to beat.
“When Jake Paul comes to MMA, I think one thing he’s going to discover is these guys that he’s fought in these so-called boxing matches, for one, he fought all older guys,” Brown said on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “I’m not going to call them washed up, but they weren’t boxers. They were older. These MMA guys, I know a lot of MMA fighters, even ones that aren’t good, and they’re f****** lions. They’re starving, blood-hungry lions. It’s a different beast. There’s some beast boxers, too, but generally they’re athletes playing a skill game.
“When you get into MMA fighters, these guys are just savage, f****** beasts. They’re lions coming for blood. It’s a different beast. These guys are savages. You can pick the right matchup and still lose. There’s so many different ways to lose. It’s just a different beast.”
Brown knows from personal experience. In his 40-plus fight career, nothing came easy, especially competing at the highest level.
While Paul has definitely displayed knockout power in his hands as a boxer, Brown knows there are plenty of scenarios there the 26-year-old Ohio native won’t even get the chance to throw a punch before an opponent has already dragged him to the ground.
“The type of people that choose this sport for a living are just a different animal all together,” Brown said. “We’ve seen it. How many times have we seen guys come over from different sports and excelled crazy at their sport and then they come to MMA [and struggled]— you’re just dealing with different animals all together. These guys are savages.”
To his credit, Paul did dabble in wrestling in high school, although he never made it as far as his brother Logan Paul, who was a third-runner up in the state of Ohio when he was competing at Westlake High.
Brown says Paul’s boxing is already at a level where that will help him in MMA but he cautions him against trying to do both sports at once because that’s just a recipe for disaster.
“I’m not sure what his whole plan is here,” Brown said. “He was talking about he wanted to be a real boxer. You can’t train MMA and go box real boxers. You’re going up against guys that are only working their hands in boxing six, eight hours a day versus guys — if you’re training MMA — you’ve got to do jiu-jitsu, you’ve got to do wrestling, you’ve got do the clinch, you’ve got to do kickboxing and then you’ve got to do some boxing. The sports are very, very different.
“I’m just not sure what his goal is. It’s cool if he wants to do MMA, but again, you’re in a different world now when you’re fighting MMA fighters — you’re in a world of f****** savages. Not to say there’s not a lot of boxers out there that aren’t savages but there’s a lot more athletes that are great boxers than there are savages that are great boxers. There’s few and far between that have some of both. In MMA, it’s kind of the opposite. There’s a lot of savage sons of b****** and then there’s a few at the top that kind of have both.”
Paul hasn’t commented yet on who he’ll be seeking out to help him make the move into MMA, though he’s posted a few videos that show him training on the ground and learning to throw kicks.
As a fellow Ohio native, Brown would gladly offer Paul a helping hand. But for him, it has nothing to do with the attention that would come along from that potential relationship if they ever decide to work together.
“Of course, I would train him,” Brown said. “When I look at training guys, I don’t look at how much money I could make off of them. I don’t look at necessarily whether they’re going to be a champion. I don’t look at any of that stuff. I look at are you going to be loyal, are you going to have integrity, are you going to represent?
“That’s all I look for. That’s all I care about. So if Jake Paul came in, showed the respect and showed the integrity, showed that he’s a good person that I want to be around, then of course I would train him and not even care about the money.”