Celebrity boxer Jake Paul is looking to continue his current career path of boxing mixed martial artists.
Appearing on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour on Monday, Paul responded to a callout from Vitor Belfort following Saturday’s Triller Fight Club card (Belfort quickly defeated Evander Holyfield in an exhibition bout).
“I’m going back-to-back-to-back on these b*tch-ass MMA fighters. Line them up, I will take all of them down,” Paul exclaimed after a callout from Belfort was read for him on-air. Thus far, Paul has put together wins over Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren. “You guys cannot box. I out-boxed a five-time UFC f*cking champion [Woodley]. Vitor Belfort didn’t even get close to winning that many championships. The notion that you guys are scared— you guys cannot box for sh*t. There was not one moment in the fight where Tyron was out-boxing me. Not one. The notion that you guys are scared, I just took on one of your best fighters, Hall of Fame, of all time, and sh*t all over him. On a bad night with a hyper-extended elbow. So f*ck all of you.”
While Paul did indeed defeat a seemingly hesitant Woodley, he was also rocked in the fight, facing adversity for the first time in his boxing career. As for Belfort, he’s fighting for Triller Fight Club, Paul’s former home before jumping ship to Showtime. That makes booking that fight an issue, although Paul had nothing but good things to say about Triller on Monday.
Then there’s Anderson Silva, who also appeared on the Triller card, knocking out fellow ex-UFC champ Tito Ortiz.
“I think it would be a huge fight for sure. He’s a legend of the sport, great head movement, great striking. For me, I would love it. I have nothing but respect for Anderson,” said Paul. “I watched him growing up, and was a fan of his growing up, so it would be cool to sort of get in there and see what would happen.”
Paul expressed concern over the age of “The Spider,” however. “There is the side of it that, he’s 46 or 47 years old. For me, I would want him to go through lots of testing to make sure that he’s actually good to get into the ring. I wouldn’t want some sh*t that just happened with Vitor and Holyfield,” continued Paul, referencing the early stoppage in Saturday’s main event, with the ref saving 58-year old Evander Holyfield from unnecessary damage.
“[Silva]’s out there looking good against these older guys, you know, Tito Ortiz and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I’m sorry but I’m built different. So it would be a lot of punishment for him, and I wouldn’t want to take out the old guy.
“A part of me is like, there’s a thing about Jake Paul fighting old guys, and like, retired guys, and Ben Askren and Tyron, whatever. People are trying to make excuses. Floyd Mayweather was 40 years old when he beat Conor McGregor. But when I fight a 39-year-old, people get mad. So part of me is like, if I were to just fight Anderson Silva, everyone would be like ‘aww just another old guy’ after I beat him.”
Paul called that a “lose-lose situation,” but the fight remains interesting to him if Silva “undergoes the testing.”
“We could figure something out. I think our teams are talking a bit. But we’ll see,” said Paul. Silva’s camp, he went on to reveal, is not the only one his manager is speaking to.
“We’re talking to multiple people right now. Four different parties, four different fighters, and then seeing which one really makes the most sense from a business standpoint. We sort of start there, at what makes the most sense for Jake Paul’s career,” he explained. “Who is the next big challenge with a big name that could sell a lot of pay-per-views. We’re exploring our options, and some of these fighters, when you go to talk to them, they like to price themselves out, or ask for way too much money, and that’s sort of their excuse for not making the fight happen.”
Asked who might sit at the top of the list, Paul replied with “Honestly, just from a personal standpoint, I would love for it to be [Jorge] Masvidal.” That, said Paul, is due to Gamebred being in his prime, and the pair having a personal beef.
“For me personally, I think that would be the toughest challenge, the toughest guy, the biggest name, and the most relevant currently.” That of course, comes with another promotional hurdle, with Masvidal under contract to the UFC.