Jake Paul: ‘I played MMA fans like a fiddle’
YouTube creator and social media celebrity turned professional boxer Jake Paul has made a name for himself inside the largely off the backs of former MMA fighters. According to Paul, targeting UFC fighters was by design.
Paul began his boxing career by taking on a fellow YouTube personality, AnEsonGib. Paul finished him in the first round. In his second professional boxing match, Paul took on former NBA player Nate Robinson and scored a second-round knockout.
His next three fights would be against former UFC fighters. In April 2021, Paul made quick work of Ben Askren. In his next bout, Paul took on former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. The two fought to a split decision. They rematched four months later. Paul knocked Woodley out in the sixth round.
While calling out former UFC fighters, Paul was also taking jabs at UFC president Dana White over fighter pay. He generated headlines on MMA websites. Dana White would be asked about Paul’s comments generating even more headlines.
“I played them (MMA fans) like a fiddle, got them watching, got them intrigued, and now they’re in my hip pocket,” Paul said during Monday’s Paul vs. Silva kickoff press conference in Los Angeles. “So I’m winning at my own game, and they’re all a part of a major plan.”
Paul faces his toughest test to date on Oct. 29 in Glendale, Ariz. when he takes on former UFC middleweight champion and MMA legends Anderson Silva.