Over the last couple years, few fighters outside of the UFC have attracted the attention of the promotion and their talent quite like Jake Paul. The social media influencer turned celebrity boxing star has turned low-level, low-stakes boxing into a remarkably lucrative hustle—building his reputation off of bouts against former high level MMA talent like Ben Askren, Tyron Woodley, and Anderson Silva.
Along with that success has come a lot of ridicule, with many fans (and perhaps even a few fighters) claiming that his bouts must be fixed for him to be able to collect the wins he’s had. But as time goes on, and Paul’s dedication to the sport remains clear, it just may be that people are starting to come around to the idea of him as a legitimate contender.
In a recent interview with Brendan Schaub’s Thiccc Boi Studio, Cerrone gave his thoughts on Paul. Not only does ‘Cowboy’ think that the ‘Problem Child’ has some legit skills, he also wouldn’t mind a chance to get in the ring and test them out.
“The Jake Paul phenomenon is kind of crazy, it’s gotten everybody calling him out and it’s kind of like the big Conor [McGregor] push. That’s what I feel like is happening with Jake Paul,” Cerrone explained (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Everyone is wanting to fight him, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t because that’s a big money fight. But you can’t take away [his wins]. Like everyone is saying those are like rigged fights—I think he’s hitting hard. You know what I mean? I really do think those are legitimate shots and strikes, and he’s been practicing boxing and [the results] are showing he’s whooping their asses.
“So I don’t think there’s any mis-hype. I think he’s got something going on there.”
“Would I like to fight him? F-ck, of course,” Cerrone added. “How could I say no to f-cking millions of dollars. So I would definitely go out there and do it.
“But I’m not sitting over here and saying, ‘Jake, you’re a f-cking YouTuber, ain’t worth a f-ck.’ Nah, man. You’re making money. Make the f-cking money. And if you want to throw some of that money my way, I’m with you.”
Cerrone last competed back on July 2nd of 2022, at UFC 276, replacing Bobby Green in a fight against Jim Miller. Miller won the bout via second round submission, after which Cerrone announced his official retirement from competition.
“I don’t love it anymore,” Cerrone said of his mixed martial arts career. “I’m going to be a movie star, baby.”