Belfort initially opened with a $25 million offer following his first-round TKO victory over Evander Holyfield on Saturday, but Triller upped the prize pool to $30 mil once Belfort’s post-fight interview started trending.
Paul, who is 2-0 against ex-MMA champions and 4-0 in boxing overall, claims Triller doesn’t have that kind of cash to be throwing around which is why he was so surprised by the offer.
“I honestly didn’t think that was coming,” Paul told Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t Jordan Ellis of Low Kick MMA). “It’s surprising because let’s be honest, we know they don’t have that money to put up.
“It’s smart on their end because they get the clout, now we’re talking about them, now we’re talking about Vitor – but that’s how this industry works, right. We know that they don’t have that money. It’s very outlandish for them to say that. If they showed proof of funds and put the money into a bank account, it would be a whole different story, but we worked with them and we know that they don’t have that much money.”
Whether or not the offer is real Paul says he isn’t too excited by the Belfort matchup and would prefer to fight a ‘bigger name’.
“Like you were saying, Vitor is not that big of a name,” Paul said. “He just isn’t. He’s not even as big of a name as Tyron (Woodley). I’m trying to get bigger with each of these fights. I’m trying to get more of a challenge.
“I think Vitor is a lot easier of a fight than Tyron. He’s older, he’s on steroids and such. It doesn’t excite me as much. The money excited me. If they were to put the money in a bank account – an escrow account – and show proof, then maybe that’s where the conversation starts.”
Paul last fought in August in his backyard of Cleveland, Ohio at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse where he defeated Tyron Woodley via split decision. He is — to the dismay of MMA and boxing fans worldwide — one of the hottest commodities in combat sports right now.