It’s a little bit funny … this feeling inside. I’m not one of those who can easily hide. So I’m not going to front, I am excited to see what the heck happens tonight in Cleveland. Yes, Cleveland, Ohio, is the site where two people Dana White dislikes — Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley — will face off tonight (Sun., Aug. 29, 2021) in an eight-round professional boxing match where both will make more money than if they have in recent memory.
The city of Harvey Pekar is a perfect home for a pay-per-view (PPV) card fueled and promoted on pure spite. Spite toward a man in White who has become the person he used to promote against. The old head ranting and raving about how what someone else is doing is rubbish.
Also, how is it that Paul has become the likeable person in this story…. Like, take a step back from this and realize that both Jake Paul and Dana White are not so great people when it comes to a litany of things. So much so that another YouTuber made a documentary series on whether or not the youngest of the Paul brothers was a legit sociopath.
While the jury is still on that, the singer/producer/genius behind “It’s Everyday Bro” has made the transition from Viner, to YouTuber, to maligned public figure (same things as a YouTuber), to fighter’s rights activist/boxer.
It makes my brain bleed trying to work out how we got here, but this is the era of legitimizing anything that can cash us a check and delegitimizing anything that denies us power, which is where boxing and MMA have been dancing for the past 20 years.
That dance has shifted mainly in how boxing has embraced the Paul Brothers in an attempt to revitalize a sport that lacks a sufficient draw or breathing room in a crowded streaming market and less than five marketable stars who fight only once a year (if that). MMA is now the ruler of the roost in the fight game, mainly UFC, which has White as the red-faced avatar for the sport that almost a half-decade ago took a chance on professional wrestlers like Brock Lesnar to help bring them a crossover audience they desperately need.
If you’re a fan of Bob Sapp and you’re pooping on this Paul vs. Woodley fight (watch it here), I kindly ask you to turn in your fan card. If you root for Conor McGregor, Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington or anyone who has aped the professional wrestling playbook for their own success without even doing it right for the most part, turn in your fan card.
Do I like Jake Paul? No. Do I love insane spectacles and the likelihood he gets airlifted out of the arena like when Homer fought Drederick Tatum? Yes, yes I do.
So as we reflect on the sport of John L. Sullivan, Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali being taken over by a guy who set a bed on fire in a swimming pool inside the mansion he leased to make content with nine random humans, including Nick Crompton, who proclaimed England was his city.
Pour a drink, light something and relax as Brendan Sokler, Shakiel Mahjouri, Stephanie Sottile and I bring you the sights, the sounds and the onset depression!
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage of tonight’s main card right here. The $59.99 Showtime/FITE PPV kicks off at 8 p.m. ET, with Paul and Woodley likely to make the walk closer to 11:30 p.m. ET. For the complete Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley fight card click here. For more news and notes on their upcoming grudge match click here.