Perennial UFC light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos believes Jake Paul has proven to be a sloppy fighter inside of the ring.
Santos, who meets Johnny Walker later tonight (Sat., Oct. 2, 2021) at UFC Vegas 38 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, recently discussed Paul’s success as a fighter and how he has looked in a pair of boxing gloves. Santos isn’t a renowned boxer in his own right, but he’s one of the more respected strikers in MMA today.
Like many, Santos doesn’t think Paul is showing enough inside of the ring. Even against a world-class fighter like former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who Paul defeated via split decision this past August, the social media star simply lacks the experience to really shine through.
“[Jake Paul] is gaining experience, conquering victories, but what I saw in his last fight against Tyron Woodley, he looks like a beginner,” said Santos (via MMA Fighting). “He doesn’t even know how to walk in the ring, he makes gross mistakes. Woodley had the obligation to beat him. And he had the opportunity to do so.”
While Paul is looking to eventually fight the likes of Canelo Alvarez inside of the ring Santos believes the 24-year-old star would have trouble even with an aging fighter like Anderson Silva, who has sparked his own boxing crossover. If Paul was ever to fight the former UFC middleweight king Santos believes it would end in a knockout.
“Jake Paul doesn’t have enough level to face a professional athlete even if it’s not a boxer, but a professional MMA athlete that trains everything, that trains boxing for years,” he said. “He’ll get knocked out. If he fights Anderson Silva, I think he gets knocked out.”
Despite being 4-0 inside of the boxing ring Paul hasn’t really faced any dangerous strikers. Woodley does have power in his hands, but he’s not a boxer by any stretch of the imagination. Santos believes this is by design as Paul handpicks opponents to avoid any real trouble.
“He knows what he’s doing,” said Santos. “He’s handpicking the right opponents, he’s setting a career plan for him, but he’ll have to fight a real fighter eventually, someone that puts him in his place. But I don’t think that’s going to happen now.
“He knows who he chooses [to box]. A guy like that will never choose me. I doubt it. No way, he won’t do that.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 38 fight card HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.