In the latter months of 2020 YouTuber Jake Paul has become one of the more noticeable names in combat sports. In November the hobby boxer took his pro record to 2-0 with a brutal KO of former NBA player Nate Robinson.
That fight happened in the co-main event of Triller’s successful Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. event. With that spectacle reportedly doing over a million pay-per-view buys, it comes as no surprise that more ‘legend fights’ and ‘celebrity fights’ will be rolling out in 2021.
Paul’s older brother Logan, also a YouTuber, has already booked an exhibition match with Floyd Mayweather Jr for February. Now we’re waiting to see who Jake will fight next.
After calling out a host of MMA fighters, including Conor McGregor—repeatedly, it seemed as though Paul would be boxing retired Bellator, ONE and UFC vet Ben Askren. However, ‘Funky’ doesn’t see that bout happening.
One fighter who seems in prime position to score a fight with Paul is Bellator’s Dillon Danis. The pair have feuded for over a year and recently Paul assaulted the BJJ ace with a drive-by water ballooning (which conveniently happened in front of a camera crew).
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker recently spoke about Paul with MMA Fighting.
Something Coker touched on were his comments regarding the Paul vs. Askren match-up. Despite Askren being a champion with Bellator and ONE, Coker said he’d give the advantage to Paul in a boxing match.
“Listen first of all, Ben Askren, I know you’re mad because of what I said. I apologize,” Coker said. “It was directly at [you] but the result, no diminishing of your accolades and all your victories and success in MMA. My only point with the Paul guys, Jake and Logan, these guys are really taking this very seriously. They’re in the gym, they’re boxing everyday. They’re surrounded by some serious boxing coaches and serious boxers. World class level and this is what they do.
“My only point when he said he wanted to fight Ben Askren, you already know what’s going to happen. Because to me, they are picking wrestlers or jiu-jitsu guys that they have an advantage over. That was really my point.”
Coker said that he wanted to see the Paul brothers challenge MMA fighters to MMA bouts, not boxing matches. Part of his reasoning for this is that he believes the Paul brothers are more well-rounded combat sport athletes than many people think.
“You guys are great wrestlers, too,” Coker said. “They wrestled in high school or maybe in college in Ohio. I hear they’re from Ohio. Great wrestling program there. Why don’t you guys fight in MMA? Why do the MMA fighters always have to go to boxing? Why can’t it be the other way around?”
“To me, come fight an MMA fighter in MMA or come fight an MMA fighter that really can strike,” continued Coker. “I’d love to see that. Let’s do one and one. You guys fight them in boxing. You want to fight Dillon Danis, go ahead. But come back and fight him in MMA and be fair about it. It shouldn’t just be a one way street.”