As one of the hottest commodities in combat sports right now, speculation is rife as to whether YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul will try his hand at MMA.
Paul may want to transition to MMA at some point in the future but the controversial influencer will never set foot in the octagon, according to UFC president Dana White.
White respects Paul as a fighter/promoter but is adamant the YouTube star’s hype will fizzle out once people get bored of his gimmick. He’d also be ‘f-cking annoying’ to work with, claims White.
“I just don’t see it happening,” the UFC president said on a recent episode of the Full Send Podcast (h/t BJPenn.com). “I don’t hate the kid. Is he f*cking annoying? Yeah, he’s annoying. He’s out there trying to make that money, and his shelf life is very f*cking short.”
“Listen, I never say never, but I highly doubt it (working with Paul),” he added. “It’s just not what I do. There’s a market for that. He could fight a different type of celebrity every week, and there’s going to be a segment of the population that wants to pay for that and see it, but that’s not what I do. I put the best against the best.”
Paul may have a short shelf life, but so did CM Punk. That didn’t stop White from signing the WWE superstar back in 2014 despite the latter having no prior experience in combat sports. Punk went 0-2 under the UFC banner against Mickey Gall and Mike Jackson, with Jackson’s unanimous decision win later being overturned to a No Contest (NC) after he tested positive for marijuana.
Paul is 3-0 in the boxing ring against extremely low-level competition but will face his toughest test to date when he takes on former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley later this month on SHOWTIME Sports. White probably won’t be tuning in, but Paul couldn’t care less.
“Showtime is like the f***ing end, at the bottom of the barrel,” White said. “They are the f***ing worst. They think they are f***ing HBO but they are not. You know they the f***ing s***can of pay-TV.”
Dana White said this morning that I’m losing my appeal and that my shelf life is very short.— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) August 5, 2021
Because of this, I have given up my life and now am an employee of my brothers company - Maverick Enterprises.
Thank you all, it’s been a fun journey.
Woodley vs. Paul takes place later this month, Aug. 29, at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.