After losing would-be opponent Tommy Fury to injury, Jake Paul agreed to a late-notice rematch with former UFC champion Tyron Woodley. To make things more interesting, he took out $500,000 from his own pocket and offered it as a knockout bonus for Woodley.
Still, many fans don’t hold “The Problem Child” in high regard as a professional boxer. But for one of MMA’s biggest mouthpieces Chael Sonnen, Paul does deserve some respect.
“This is a real fighter move. And Jake Paul has been resisted by our community, for reasons I don’t fully understand. And this is common,” Sonnen told Ariel Helwani in a recent episode of The MMA Hour.
“This happened with announcers. Just to use recent examples, Todd Grisham, who did a damn good job, was resisted. Stephen A. Smith who came over, he was resisted. There’s something that the MMA community specifically wants before they welcome you into the club.
“People pushed back on Jake because of the Disney, because of YouTube, because he acted corny for so long. This is a real fighter move. He has nothing to gain here. But this is a very big risk.”
Sonnen also gave credit to Paul for pushing through with the fight and essentially saving everyone else’s payday.
“Jake Paul does not need this fight. However, there’s 20 other men and women on that card whose Christmas will be ruined, whose holidays will be ruined if they don’t get to go out there and compete.
“And Jake Paul followed the golden rule of show business which is the show must go on. And that is a gangster move. And he deserves credit for it.”
Paul vs. Woodley 2 takes place on December 18 in Tampa, Florida.