Who Does Jake Paul Face Next?

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that this past weekend, Youtuber and internet celebrity, Jake Paul knocked out former Bellator and ONE FC champion, Ben Askren. Entering the bout, Jake Paul was a -100 favourite, despite Askren having the combat experience.

Following the first victory over anyone of note (despite Askren’s obvious weaknesses in the striking element of MMA), it immediately lead to questions of ‘Who’s next?’. A number of fighters have called out Jake Paul in an attempt to redeem not only the reputation of MMA and boxing but also make some huge, huge money. Odds have been released via BetOnline as to who may be next to face Jake Paul. We take a look at some of the options (tweeted by Chamatkar Sandhu) and address Paul’s chances.

Jake Paul – Potential Next Opponents

Top 3 Favourites

Joe Fournier (2/1), Tommy Fury (5/2) and Dillon Danis (4/1)

Joe Fournier featured on the undercard of Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren this past weekend. Taking on Reykon, Fournier made his opponent retire. Unsurprisingly so, Fournier holds a boxing record of 9-0, winning all by knockout. Does this one transfer over to the ‘main stream’? No, not really. Fournier isn’t a huge name, especially not in the ‘combat sports’ realm. Defeating Fournier does nothing for Paul’s image, especially after calling out Nate Diaz following the Askren fight.

Recognise the name? Tommy Fury is the half-brother of the lineal and WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury. Tommy Fury is a big name in the UK. He made his star having taken part in the reality TV series ‘Love Island’. Don’t let this fool you, however. Fury has legitimate boxing skills, standing at 5-0 with four knockouts. Following Jake Paul’s latest victory, Tommy Fury called the Youtube star out.

If the two were to fight, don’t get mistaken, Fury wipes the floor with Paul, despite Paul’s obvious talent.

A familiar name when considering Jake Paul and combat sports athletes is Dillon Danis. Danis rose to fame as Conor McGregor‘s Jiu-Jitsu training partner, before making his debut for Bellator a few years later. His ground game is undeniable but his stand-up is questionable. Not as questionable as Askren’s, but it certainly isn’t his bread and butter. Jake Paul ‘attacked’ Dillon Danis in a strange, comical drive-by last year, proving that there is some heat between the two. Danis makes sense for Paul. In Danis, Jake Paul will have an opponent who will talk trash, be game and bring eyes to the fight. It’s also another opportunity to potentially get another MMA fighter on his record. Danis, obviously, seems keen on the fight too.

The Three Former UFC Champions

Tyron Woodley (5/1), BJ Penn (12/1) and Conor McGregor (12/1)

Tyron Woodley was heavily involved in the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren fight. A longtime teammate of Askren, Woodley was the member of Askren’s team who went into Paul’s locker room to check him getting his hands wrapped. What played out was nothing but strange. A teammate of Paul’s, boxer J‘Leon Love confronted Woodley, stating ‘you don’t know no boxing gloves’, implying that he had no business being in the boxing game. Love was extremely disrespectful to the former welterweight champion. Let’s not get it twisted, Woodley would ruin Love were they ever to have a ‘real’ fight in the octagon. Following the fight, Woodley appeared interested in a fight with Jake Paul tweeting:

However, in the aftermath, it appears Woodley not only wants to fight Paul but also wants to take on Love in an MMA fight. Now that is something we’d all like to see.

BJ Penn… oh BJ Penn. Once one of the best mixed martial artists on the planet. Today, a man with an immense legacy, phenomenal history and a dicey online presence. Multiple times we’ve seen footage BJ in fights outside of bars, rumours of arrests and failures in the octagon (1-9-1 in his last 11). Penn called for the fight on Twitter (like everyone else) but please, don’t let it happen.

On the subject of fights we shouldn’t even entertain as a possibility… enter Conor McGregor. At 12/1, it’s an insane price. McGregor has been focussing on the Dustin Poirier rematch and rightfully so. Don’t give any attention to the Paul fight and the Youtuber will continue to call him out to no avail. NEXT.

The Strange Possibilities

Matt Brown (20/1), Jimi Manuwa (25/1) and Phil Baroni (25/1)

Former top contender, Matt Brown seemed keen to avenge the loss that the MMA community suffered when Askren was knocked out. Taking to Twitter, the 40 fight veteran stated that he’d happily avenge Askren’s loss. He also appeared to have a dislike to Triller commentator, Snoop Dogg, entertaining a possible fight with the rapper too.

Jimi Manuwa once entertained a crossover fight with former boxing world champion, David Haye. Manuwa had just knocked out Corey Anderson in London and called out Haye for a dance. Despite this never happening, it’s clear Manuwa isn’t opposed to a boxing match. That being said, Jake Paul would never take a fight with Manuwa, despite going back and forth with him on Twitter post-fight. Manuwa is one of the hardest-hitting 205ers the UFC has ever seen, finishing 15 of his 17 victories by knockout. That is a fight we’d certainly pay to see, however. It’s also a fight that former foe, Daniel Cormier seems interested in too… It couldn’t, could it?

MMA veteran Phil Baroni piped up on Twitter, suggesting that the fight was fake and was just a money grab.

He later posted ‘I wana box Jake Paul’. Would Paul entertain this? Let’s be honest, it’s highly unlikely. Paul only wants the ‘money fights’ and unfortunately for fans of MMA, Baroni has been out of the spotlight for too long to be considered a draw, likely leading to Paul never entertaining the fight.

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Frazer is a 24 year old MMA and boxing enthusiast from Coventry, England. You can follow Frazer on twitter @Frazer_Krohn

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