There’s no avoiding Jake Paul at this point in time. The social media entertainer has not only crossed over into the world of boxing to put on massive PPV shows, but the YouTube star is also showing up at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events and making the whole crowd scream in his direction.
Whether you hate him or not, there’s no denying that Paul is doing a marvelous job at self promotion. Earlier this month, Paul showed up to watch UFC 261 in Jacksonville, Fla., alongside thousands of eager fans looking to watch UFC action live for the first time in over a year. Paul managed to entice the entire crowd chant “F—k Jake Paul” and also go into an altercation with former UFC champion Daniel Cormier in the crowd (see it HERE).
Some may look at all of that as bad publicity, but Paul is doing whatever he can to attract interest for his next boxing match. The 24-year-old is coming off a blistering knockout finish over former MMA world champion Ben Askren (see it HERE) and is likely to land an even bigger fight his next time out. Now is the time for Paul to boost his brand even if it means crashing a UFC event.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, who called UFC 261 earlier this month, is impressed by Paul’s ability to create buzz around his boxing fights and bring in some serious numbers.
“Well, he wants to make some money. He’s a very clever fellow,” Rogan said on his podcast. “DC said, ‘Take my f***ing name out of your mouth, I’m not a kid, I will f*** you up,’ and he was like, ‘Yikes.’ Look, it’s f***ing former UFC heavyweight champion of the world. That’s not what you want.
“Let me tell you something, we were in Florida, Jacksonville, sold out arena, and they were all chanting ‘F*** Jake Paul.’ He’s filming it. He’s got his phone out, he’s like, ‘Yeah!’ (Because what he’s hearing is) money. He’s hearing ‘Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching!’ He’s making so much money, dude. He said it was 1.5 million PPV buys when he knocked out Ben Askren. I don’t know if that’s true, Dana White says it’s nonsense, but maybe. He doesn’t - who has the f***ing receipts? If he’s lying, why didn’t he say 2 million, why didn’t he say 3 million? Why’d he say 1.5? Maybe he’s telling the truth and if he’s telling the truth, they made a f***ing considerable amount of money. That’s bigger by more than double the very legitimate, three title fight UFC card of this past weekend because that apparently got 700,000 buys. Granted, these are 700,000 ESPN+ verified, absolute buys. There’s no bulls***.”
UFC president Dana White has been quite vocal about his lack of interest in ever working with someone like Paul. White even referred to Paul’s boxing matches as a “freakshow.” Still, the UFC president can’t deny the rise of Paul and the massive following he’s creating. White may not understand the interest, but he seems to be paying Paul a little more respect for his efforts.
“Listen, at the end of the day, to be honest, I hate the dildos who pop in here and say ‘Hey, pay Jake Paul!’ I hate them worse than I hate Jake Paul,” White told Morning Blitz. “But, listen, whatever with this kid. The kid is making money, man. He makes people care, he makes people give a s***. I honestly don’t hate the kid. I know there’s a lot of people who are very excited for the day when he gets clipped and gets knocked out, and it is coming. His 15 minutes are almost up but listen, the kid’s gonna make some money and good for him.”
At this point it’s unknown what Paul has in store for his next boxing venture. The social media influencer has called out UFC stars like Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, but that’s less likely to happen than White strapping on the gloves and fighting Paul himself. It’s more likely that Paul takes on a former MMA fighter or fellow celebrity next to close out 2021 and cash in once again on his growing popularity.