Having defeated one of the greatest of all-time in Anderson Silva, Jake Paul is confident he would have little to no issue with Nate Diaz.
The YouTuber-turned-boxer earned a unanimous decision over Silva this past Saturday in what was widely considered the biggest win of his professional career. Following his win, Paul turned his attention to Diaz, who was (briefly) at the Desert Diamond Arena in support of his teammate Chris Avila. Before he was escorted out of the arena, the former UFC legend was involved in a backstage altercation with Team Paul, which led to the ‘Problem Child’ challenging him to step into the ring.
“I want Nate Diaz, who’s a b—ch,” said Paul in his post-fight interview. “He tried to come into my locker room. He tried to cause some s—t. And then he always leaves the f—king arena. So Nate Diaz, stop being a b—ch and fight me.”
With a fourth-round submission of Tony Ferguson at UFC 279, Diaz completed his contract and set out to test free agency. Though he has yet to announce the next phase of his career, all signs are pointing to a move from MMA to boxing. If that is the case, Paul is waiting for him.
“If he’s actually out of his UFC contract, I would be down,” said Paul on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “I just beat one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, Nate Diaz is easy work. Anderson Silva is way more difficult than Nate Diaz.
“He’s slow and at the end of his career,” continued Paul. He’s lost it, as far as striking. Maybe he still has jiu-jitsu, but as for as striking and all that, he’s just a street fighter. Boxing is the purest sport. It’s art. You can’t come in and street fight someone in a boxing match. Anderson has length, has the height, Anderson hits harder, is more slippery, has the better head movement, the list goes on. So I know that Nate is easier.”
Of course, Diaz is not allowed to negotiate with any promotions until his three-month negotiation period with the UFC is over, so a fight with Paul may be in limbo — for now. In the meantime, Paul sees a few options he could pursue as he expects to return early next year.
There is a super fight against Floyd Mayweather, who he annoyed with the now-infamous ‘Gotcha Hat!’ stunt a year ago. Tommy Fury is still in his crosshairs, despite two failed bookings. Either of those is fine, especially if they would end the criticism Paul has received over not getting into the ring with a professional boxer.
“I feel like definitely professional boxer is the No. 1 criticism, but again, anyone that is smart knows that Anderson Silva is a real professional boxer, and just beat a former world champion,” said Paul. “So I don’t know. I haven’t really been on social media, like seeing if people are still criticizing because of that. I’ve seen the rigged thing, but at this point, I’m just going to do whatever the f—k I want and fight whoever is ready and willing to actually show up.”
Paul is now 6-0 as a professional, with wins over Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren among his highlights.