LAST WEEK, Jake Paul proudly declared he would be the first person to knock out Nate Diaz when he faced the 38-year-old on August 6th. While he didn’t knock Diaz out cold, Paul emerged from the bout victorious in a unanimous decision win, with the judges scoring the fight 98-91, 98-91 and 97-92 in Paul’s favour. While he didn’t deliver on his promised knockout, it’s hard to fault the ‘Problem Child’s’ confidence considering he’s racked up yet another reputation-building win against a formidable opponent.
Paul dominated the opening rounds before Diaz could find his footing in his first boxing bout. Just when the 38-year-old looked like he was starting to gain some traction, Paul responded by knocking him to the canvas in the fifth round. Diaz answered the count, but from that point he never did enough to put the result in doubt—despite firing up in the closing rounds.
Magnanimous in victory, Paul credited his opponent in the centre of the ring following the fight, “He’s a warrior. I had him hurt in the first round, and he kept on coming,” Paul began. “He’s tough, he’s real tough, that’s what he’s known for. But tough in this sport doesn’t work,” Paul said.
Humility has never been one of Paul’s strengths. As such, there was no chance he would downplay his talents on Sunday. “Going ten rounds in my eighth fight is unheard of. I’ve only been boxing for three years, I beat a UFC legend.” While going ten rounds in a boxers eighth fight is actually not unheard of (it’s been achieved hundreds of times before), we can’t fault Paul for enjoying the limelight, even if his sources are dubious.
Will Jake Paul fight Nate Diaz again?
You can’t ask for much more than a high-octane, evenly matched fight that goes the distance, like the one we got on Sunday. But despite their first bout living up to the loftiest of expectations, the Paul v Diaz rivalry has not penned its final chapter.
When asked ringside of the next target on his hitlist, Paul propped up a potential rematch with Diaz, this time in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). “I want a run at MMA… I want $10 million, PFL, that’s the offer. Let’s run it back in MMA, make it fair,” Paul said, attempting to entice Diaz into a fight on his home court. “I won one, now it’s your chance in your home territory. MMA, let’s do it.”
For Diaz, a master of Brazilian jiu jitsu, the clash with Paul was his first in professional boxing, meaning that despite Diaz trumping Paul in combat experience, he was technically a rookie. To dispel any sentiment of an ‘unfair fight’, Paul has been calling for a rematch with Diaz, this time in MMA, before the first fight even began.
Diaz has previously held his cards close to his chest in regard to a rematch. After two decades getting punched in the face, we can’t blame Diaz for being tentative about any further punishment, particularly in the cage. But a humbling defeat can work wonders on your career plans. Following his defeat to Paul, Diaz changed his tune and told reporters he’s down for a rematch. Doubling down, he said he’d take on the Problem Child “in any art.”
Does Jake Paul have a chance in an MMA fight?
While he’s proven himself to be a more than capable boxer, Jake Paul’s combat skills are limited to that single discipline. MMA blends many martial arts, with fighters usually utilising multiple combinations. Boxers are only allowed to punch, while MMA fighters can essentially use their whole body to punch, kick, wrestle and grab.
Paul was a member of his high school wrestling team, but apart from that, his experience outside of boxing is limited. An MMA fight between Paul and Diaz would likely favour the former UFC champion, who gave an indication of how the contest would go in Sunday’s final round. In the 10th round of their boxing match, Diaz pinned Paul in a guillotine choke hold—a technically illegal move in boxing, but one that reminded everyone where Diaz’s true talents lie.
If not Diaz, who will Jake Paul fight next?
If his next bout isn’t a rematch against Diaz, Paul has expressed a desire to avenge his defeat at the hands of Tommy Fury. Paul’s loss to Fury is the only blemish on the 26 year old’s record, and its clearly gnawing at his pride. “It’s going to happen, it’s going to happen for sure,” Paul told Sky Sports.
Of course, the first fight’s financial success is another motivator for a rematch. “I think it was a great fight, it was entertaining, it was the biggest pay-per-view buys in boxing for the last two years, so I think we have to run it back,” Paul said.
Is Jake Paul Actually Good?
Well, that’s the big question isn’t it? Sure, Paul has beaten a handful of fighters ranging from retired basketball stars to combat sports legends, but they’ve all been in the twilight of their careers and were clearly more interested in fighting Paul for the contribution to their bank accounts (a few extra millions never hurt anyone) than the contribution to their legacies.
In fact, the only time Paul faced someone around his own age, he lost. Tommy Fury, like Paul, is also primarily a boxer, not a cast off from another discipline, or a washed-up punching bag. Fury defeated Paul via split decision earlier this year, proving that the Problem Child isn’t invincible.
Paul is yet to venture outside of the comfort of his chosen discipline, while in almost all of his victories, he’s defeated an opponent that’s fighting in an unfamiliar style. To truly prove himself, Paul will need to either pick on someone of his own age and quality, or try his luck outside of boxing, and an MMA fight against Diaz could be the perfect opportunity to do just that.