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Kenny Florian praises Jake Paul for attempting to transition into MMA: ‘This is a guy who does not need to fight’

Jake Paul v Anderson Silva Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

At 26, Jake Paul already has amassed enough of a fortune that he never needs to work another day in his life.

The social influencer turned boxer reportedly earned around $38 million between May 2021 and May 2022, which doesn’t account for the payday he took home for his recent win over Anderson Silva. Add to that, Paul was already independently wealthy thanks to the successful business he built after first coming to fame while making videos on YouTube alongside his older brother Logan Paul.

Paul will likely take home another hefty paycheck for his upcoming fight against Tommy Fury on Feb. 26, which will just add to his growing bank account. Despite all that, Paul announced in January that he had signed with the PFL to work with the promotion behind-the-scenes while also revealing future plans to compete in MMA.

While it seems unlikely that Paul will make his debut any time soon, PFL color commentator and multi-time UFC title challenger Kenny Florian says he deserves credit for even entertaining the idea in the first place.

“I can see that he’s already training, I know that,” Florian told MMA Fighting. “I’m not a huge fan of the YouTuber fights and this and that but I have come to respect Jake Paul and what he’s been doing. This is a guy who does not need to fight. He’s already a millionaire. He does a lot of other stuff.

“For him to go in there, train hard, prepare for these boxing fights, he’s picking the right fights, clearly an intelligent guy. He’s making the right decisions of who he fights. He’s performing. He’s showing that he is dangerous. Now he wants to try his hand at mixed martial arts. I love it.”

As exciting as it might be to see Paul compete in MMA, Florian knows better than most that the always outspoken “Problem Child” has a lot to learn and truly understand before he can feel confident going into a fight.

High-level boxers have traditionally struggled to find success in MMA — outside of ex-UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm — and even if Paul is only considered a novice in the sweet science, he also doesn’t have a background in traditional martial arts that will serve as a springboard to his new career.

Florian acknowledges that beyond just learning how to fight, Paul will also have to endure numerous other aspects of MMA that make the sport so difficult to master.

“There’s so much to the game when you’re talking about all the different skills he needs to have,” Florian said. “The weight cutting, the nutrition, the strength and conditioning. There is so much to do when preparing for a mixed martial arts contest. He will find out about that very soon.

“I think that you’ve got to give him credit for wanting to do this. We haven’t seen it yet but he has followed through on a lot of the things he said he would do. I’m curious to see how it all goes down.”

Beyond his aspirations to fight in the PFL, Paul will also be working on an executive level to help build the new “super fight” division that will happen on pay-per-view.

That will eventually lead to Paul competing in his own MMA fights but Florian believes the PFL made a smart move partnering with the undefeated boxer because it’s only going to grow the promotion and lead to more opportunities for other fighters.

“It’s a great move for the PFL to do this,” Florian said. “Because obviously, Jake Paul he brings in views. People want to see, whether they want to see him lose or win. It’s an opportunity for fighters to make more money because of Jake Paul being on the card or whatever.

“I think it’s going to be interesting. PFL is trying to establish itself and get more popular and bring in new fans and I think it’s a smart strategy to align themselves with Jake Paul.”

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