No more UFC fighters: Jake Paul’s next opponent needs to be an actual boxer

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 18:  Jake Paul reacts to knocking out Tyron Woddley in the sixth round during an eight-round cruiserweight bout at the Amalie Arena on December 18, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Greg Rosenstein Dec 20, 2021 93
Let’s get this out of the way early: It’s time to give Jake Paul some respect. You can hate on him all you want, but you need to acknowledge that what he’s doing is working. Only a few years ago, Paul — a social media star with more than 20 million YouTube followers — put on boxing gloves for the first time. Now he’s landing highlight reel, one-punch knockouts on former UFC champions.

What he did Saturday night in Tampa, Fla., by knocking Tyron Woodley flat on his face with an overhand right, is more than anyone could have imagined when he first tried to be a professional boxer. Remember: The guy was making prank videos with his friends not that long ago. For Paul to show any semblance of being a legitimate boxer is a feat in itself, regardless of the competition.

I’d like to also add that Paul is doing a lot to get fighters like Amanda Serrano the recognition she previously never had, and paid well on top of that. She tweeted on Sunday morning that she finally became a millionaire. Woodley, too, earned the highest paydays of his career with the two fights against Paul.

That major financial draw has caused some UFC fighters like welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and former title challengers Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz to be brought up as potential next opponents. All were called out by Paul after his win.

“I just knocked out a five-time UFC champion and embarrassed your whole company,” Paul said in the post-fight news conference. “Please let me get Kamaru Usman. Please let me get Diaz. Please let me get Masvidal. ’Cause I’m going to embarrass them, too. I promise you, Dana (White).”

Paul is smart.