Jake Paul is hoping to take care of business against Ben Askren this weekend and then turn his attention to former UFC champion Conor McGregor.
Paul, who is set to meet Askren in the headliner of Triller Fight Club’s pay-per-view (PPV) boxing event later tonight (Sat., April 17, 2021) live on FITE TV from inside Mercedes-Benz Arena in Atlanta, Ga., is doing anything and everything he can do stand out in the combat sports world. Knocking out former NBA star Nate Robinson with one punch last year has certainly helped Paul’s ascension, but the YouTube sensation is still looking to take his boxing career to an entirely new level.
Over the past few months Paul has gone out of his way to take some digs at McGregor, UFC president Dana White, and much of the MMA community in effort to create more buzz for his boxing match. It has rubbed a lot of fighters the wrong way, but Paul swears it’s all in good fun.
“I’m just having fun and trolling,” Paul told MMA Fighting. “I’ve sort of purposefully pitting the MMA community against me so they tune into this fight. It worked.”
One of the biggest feuds Paul has created this year has been his ongoing spat with White. The UFC president revealed last month that he’d be interested in betting $1 million on Askren to defeat Paul in their boxing match this weekend. Paul quickly responded and offered to not only match White’s bet up to $2 million, but he also challenged the UFC frontman to a boxing match later this year.
“I’m excited for Dana White to lose a million dollars,” Paul said. “But other than that, I’m going to prove millions and millions and millions of people wrong and they have motivated me to become the best version of myself over the last couple of years.”
Outside of White, Paul has invested a lot of his social media time in badmouthing McGregor and trying to goad the Irishman into a highly-lucrative boxing fight. McGregor hasn’t voiced his opinion on Paul (just yet), but there’s no way he isn’t aware of the YouTuber’s challenge. After all, Paul has verbally berated McGregor and even sent a $50 million offer to fight.
If Paul is able to take out Askren this weekend and add to his growing collection of highlight-reel finishes then he may finally capture McGregor’s full attention.
“I think we both are on a road to each other,” Paul said about McGregor. “He wants another boxing fight. He wants to fight Manny Pacquiao. He would get toasted. He just keeps on taking Ls. So I think him fighting me would not only be his money fight, but it would technically be the easiest challenge, right? Fighting Jake Paul would probably be easier than fighting Manny Pacquiao and it would be just as big.
“I think we’re a lot closer to a Jake Paul-Conor McGregor fight than anyone thinks. I think it could happen in the next 24 months.”
McGregor, who has been angling for a return to boxing since his megafight opposite Floyd Mayweather Jr. back in Aug. 2017, is currently scheduled to fight Dustin Poirier in a trilogy bout at UFC 264 this July. If “Notorious” can defeat Poirier and regain some momentum in UFC it may make sense for him to do another crossover bout and finally put Paul in his place.
“Conor’s the big name,” Paul said. “He’s a A-list celebrity, and there are very few fighters who are A-list celebrities. So we’ll see what happens. I hope he wins against Dustin, I guess, so that the fight becomes more exciting.”
For the complete Triller Fight Club PPV lineup and musical guests for April 17 click here.