Does Paul Stand a Chance in Diaz’s Cage?
Jake Paul, the social media influencer turned boxer, certainly has some gall about him, whether it’s goading fighters or claiming he’s an amazing boxer despite having never beaten a professional boxer himself. So, what business does he have in the MMA cage? Does he really want to get into this fight with Nate Diaz as part of their cross-discipline feud?
The First Match was a Boxing Bout
After losing to Tommy Fury (a real boxer), Jake Paul went back to fighting MMA combatants in the boxing ring, again leading to multiple boxing news sites questioning his pedigree in the sweet science. Paul got the decision win over Nate Diaz back in August 2023 in what was the latter’s professional boxing debut. As such, Diaz was knocked down in the fifth round and couldn’t land his punches on Paul with any great power. The judges could only award the Problem Child the victory as he proved to be the better fighter on the night. It was hardly trending boxing news that a man with eight fights under his belt defeated a debutant.
UFC president Dana White remarked on the fight shortly after, stating that he was at a massive disadvantage in the match and that he thought Diaz still looked good in it. He also tried to keep an open relationship with both Diaz brothers and said he was open to having them return to UFC if desired.
MMA Fight Would Surely Playout Differently
The trending boxing news is that Paul vs. Diaz II will not be a boxing fight. Instead, it will be a MMA rules contest. Diaz reportedly challenged Paul to this immediately after the first fight, which he accepted. This leads us to the present day, where the paperwork is moving, and the Professional Fighters League is reportedly set to host it at an upcoming event, maybe as early as December 2023.
While Paul claims boxing to be his wheelhouse, there’s no disputing that MMA is Diaz’s. This is a man who fought for championship belts in the UFC at a time when there was no competition for the promotion. Diaz became a fan favorite with countless Submission of the Night awards and Fight of the Night awards. He’s seen it all in the octagon with a stacked 21-13 record.
Paul does have age on his side, and with the right kind of training and conditioning to evade Diaz’s attacks, the older man would surely tire at a faster rate. But does that help Paul when he’s about to be locked into the triangle choke or the guillotine? The picture of Jake Paul tapping out would be plastered all over MMA News websites for everyone to have a jolly good laugh at.
Does Diaz PFL Involvement Hinder UFC Relationship?
Nate Diaz has always had a good working relationship with the UFC and Dana White, having never fought anywhere else since joining the UFC back in 2007. Yet, his last fight against Tony Ferguson in September 2022 saw him participate while out of contract. So, if he does fight Paul on a PFL card, how does that sit with Dana White and company?
White has long tried to discredit the rival promotion since it rose to prominence over the last few years, notably stating that he thought that Ngannou’s move there was a waste of time. He’s not going to be over the moon that Diaz will be walking into the company either. Yet, with Diaz already 38 years old, it’s not like he’s going to be missing out on too many more big UFC opportunities.
What is Paul Doing this For?
At this point in Jake Paul’s boxing career, at 7-1, there are serious questions over his motivation. If he wanted to be considered a real boxer, he would have to take on more challenges like the Tommy Fury fight. Beating MMA stars and trainers doesn’t equate to much, and boxing promotions are hardly going to be offering him title fights (unless they’re the ones he has some managerial stance in), giving him little credibility. He has been vehement in his dedication to the sport while boxing purists have continually pointed out his shortcomings – so if he were to try to prove them wrong with any authority, why is he stepping into the MMA cage? Is it simply to try to tap into another market and make MMA breaking news?
How is the Feud Settled?
Let’s skip to the potential results of the MMA fight. If Paul wins, then it’s unlikely that he’ll entertain the idea of another fight with Diaz. He will consider the issue resolved and not worth his time. Yet, if it’s a Diaz victory, then it becomes a different ball game as the series would stand at 1-1. The problem would be that the victories came in different disciplines. The ideal situation for fight fans would be that both men draw a line under it with a hearty handshake and say that nobody needs to see this farce dragged out any longer.
Unfortunately, there’s money to be made from a trilogy-determining fight, and something vaguely resembling combat sports would be churned out. Paul would be adamant about not entering the cage again, while Diaz would err away from a boxing ring. The BKFC could be a realistic alternative and decisive fight discipline, but given Paul’s business interests, it would be altogether more likely that he’d manufacture some hybrid match to condense both fighters’ preferred styles. I.e., an exhibition contested over ten rounds, alternating from boxing to MMA rules, or something like this to try to illustrate the MMA and Boxing credentials of both fighters.
With the advent of these new boxing promotions, the sky’s the limit with the potential for some truly zany bouts. More creative thinkers will already be eyeing up a tag team match as the Paul brothers could fight the Diaz brothers, with Tommy Fury as the special guest referee in a bout simply designed to grab attention.
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