As announced this week, Jake Paul, the former Disney star, turned Youtuber, turned influencer, turned professional boxer will be clashing with UFC legend, Nate Diaz, a man known for being in huge fights, being as game as they come and always relying on a heavy boxing base throughout his MMA career. The fight, despite Paul recently signing with the PFL and Diaz fighting out his UFC contract, will be contested inside a boxing ring, under boxing rules.
We have to look at the fight itself and ponder the question, “what might the fight look like and how might it play out?”
What we know so far:
- August 5th, live on DAZN PPV from the American Airlines Center, Dallas
- Joint 50-50 promotion between Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions and Diaz’s Real Fight Inc.
- Contracted Weight – 185lbs
- 8 Rounds
- 10 Oz gloves
The Promotion Pre-Fight
One thing is for sure with both of these guys, expect the unexpected. This will be the first time that Diaz will be promoting himself so we have no idea how the pre-fight promotion may go. Expect press conferences, a ton of social media interactions and plenty of trash talk. Expect huge entourages wherever each man goes and expect both boxing and MMA outlets to cover the fight in depth.
With regards to press conferences, we know what Paul brings to the table. He’ll look to belittle Diaz at any opportunity, downplay his boxing ability and certainly bring up the age of Diaz (a man who is 11 years his senior). Paul will inevitably be asked what changes he’s made since his first professional loss to Tommy Fury last time out, how he thinks he matches up with Diaz and how he thinks he can get the better of the Stockton native.
Diaz has a rich history of memorable one-liners throughout his UFC career as well as memorable moments at press conferences. When he clashed with Conor McGregor back in 2016, it was legendary. The trash-talk between the two hyped the fight instantly, the two men’s characters just ‘clicked’. That is if Diaz turns up. He’s notorious for turning up when he likes, late, more often than not. Especially now that he is promoting himself and can therefore somewhat live by his own rules.
Considering social media interactions, it’s already started. Jake Paul has already taken a swipe at both Nate Diaz and his former promoter, Dana White. Expect it to be ramped up massively, for Paul to continue his social media onslaught and for Diaz to stay more reserved.
August 5th we commemorate the funeral for Nathaniel Diaz as we send him in casket back to Dana.
Refreshments will be provided at the service. Black Tie Attire.
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) April 12, 2023
With that being said, Diaz responded to a video that was posted during Paul’s fight with Fury when Paul’s older brother, Logan got on the mic and trash-talked the Fury’s. He quoted the video saying “This guy needs his ass beat. And who let the spoiled lil bitch yell obnoxious shit during the fight?”.
It won’t be Logan that Diaz fights on August 5th, however, it will be the younger, more experienced Jake.
The Fight Itself
The fight itself is certainly intriguing. Jake Paul is the more experienced boxer on paper having had seven professional bouts. Diaz, on the other hand, has had zero and will be making his professional debut in August. With that being said, he’s always relied on a heavy boxing style throughout his MMA career, sometimes to his downfall. He’s a career mixed martial artist and without having to worry about the threat of the takedown, he could certainly become a high-level boxer.
Paul relied on a big right hand throughout his early boxing career, knocking out Nate Robinson, Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, however, struggled against Anderson Silva and Tommy Fury when he couldn’t land the right. He doesn’t often utilise the jab as much as he should as a pro boxer, falling into a brawling style more often than not.
Diaz can brawl with the best of them, however, it’s unlikely that his boxing coach, Richard Perez will allow him to brawl with Paul. Expect him to look to lean heavier on the jab, utilise his length and ultimately look to outbox Paul. Diaz has never been a one-punch knockout artist but a fighter who forces his opponents to fall due to an accumulation of punches. He used to train with the great, Andre Ward, so who knows who will be in his corner come fight night.
Don’t be surprised if Diaz bleeds in this one. The amount of scar tissue he has would suggest that if Paul can land a few heavy jabs on Diaz, it could open him up. Let’s just hope that the Texas commission knows this and is aware of how game Diaz is because no one wants to see this one stopped on cuts.
Diaz will also likely handle the moment far better, being the more experienced in huge moments and taking part in huge fights. The two Conor McGregor fights as well as the Jorge Masvidal fight and the debacle that was UFC 279 will have prepared him accordingly.
What’ll happen after the fight? A lot of this depends on how the fight itself goes. If Diaz gets the victory, according to him, he’ll return to the UFC and challenge for the belt.
Speaking on the fight, Diaz said:
“Besides Canelo, he’s the biggest thang in boxing. I’m here to conquer that. I’m the king of combat sports, and then I’m headed back to get my UFC belts. I f*cked up Conor for acting out and now here I am again, like a super hero of the Real Fight game, the king of the Real Fight game.”
This, of course, heavily suggest that this is a money fight for Diaz and that he’s more passionate about MMA.
For Jake Paul, we have to remember that he promised fans an MMA fight this year. Whatever happens in the boxing match with Diaz, he’ll have to have a quick turnaround to make his PFL debut before the years out. A KSI fight further down the line is always a possibility, however, he appears to have moved on to bigger and better things since those rumours.
Whatever happens, there will be plenty of talking points, soundbites and drama. We’ll have it all, right here on MMASucka.