Stepping up | 

Jake Paul confirms move into MMA so could he fight Conor McGregor?

Paul is unbeaten as a pro boxer from six fights, which have generated tens of millions from his army of followers

Jake Paul

Kevin PalmerSunday World

YouTuber Jake Paul has defied his critics by making a huge success of his boxing career and now he has confirmed a move into MMA.

The social media star is unbeaten as a pro boxer from six fights, which have generated tens of millions from his army of followers.

Now he is looking to take his fighting skills into MMA and he is eyeing up a showdown with Conor McGregor's long-tine rival Nate Diaz.

A fight with McGregor may be the inevitable end point for this story as it would generate huge income for both fighters, with Paul clearly eager to make his mark in a new combat sport.

"I know this is a tough sport, but if I can do it in boxing I can do it in MMA," 25-year-old Paul said.

"This is about changing M.M.A., disrupting, innovating, and creating the next big league."

And referring to his desire to fight UFC great Diaz he added: "I would beat Nate Diaz up in a MMA fight. There's nothing he could do.

"I'm so dedicated to this that I offered Nate Diaz a two-fight deal.

"First we box. Then six months later we fight MMA in the PFL. Nate Diaz, I am down to fight you in your own sport."

Diaz has signed up to be part of the Professional Fighters League (PFL), where star names collect 50 per-cent of all pay-per-view money generated by their fights.

The PFL has branded itself as a "fighter-first" organisation since launching five years ago and its new 'Super Fight' division will look to generate big money for star names like Paul.

The YouTube hero has been a vocal critic of the UFC organisation that has dominated the MMA publicity machine in recent years, providing a platform for Conor McGregor to become a global star.

Paul has beaten some former UFC stars in his boxing career and he has suggested UFC chief Dana White does not like the idea of him beating former UFC fighters.

"You know, he's trying to do everything he can to stop my run, to sabotage my fights," declared Paul last year.

"He hates me. He hates what I'm doing. He hates that I am exposing his business.

"No major sports organisation pays its athletes as poorly as Dana White and UFC.

"They keep talking about selling out 21 events in a row but never talking about raising fighter pay, giving them healthcare and fair revenue split.

"If my boss told me I am never getting a raise I would quit and go somewhere that actually values me. Right?

"But what if your boss, who has made hundreds of millions from your hard work told you he's not increasing you minimum pay and you're not able to quit?"

White shut down questions about Paul in a press conference last year, as he insisted Paul has 'nothing to do with his business'.


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