Jake Paul is coming to MMA.
The 24 year-old social media sensation, now 5-0 as a professional boxer with four knockouts, is currently in “advanced talks” with Professional Fighters League (PFL), sources told MMAmania.com, and could make his “Smart Cage” debut as early as this year.
Paul, a Division-1 wrestler out of Ohio, is expected to train at AKA gym in San Jose.
The 6’1” cruiserweight would not be a part of the 2022 championship tournament and would instead be positioned as a featured attraction, much the same way “sweet science” standout Claressa Shields has been utilized in recent months.
No doubt Paul will be a leading candidate to kick off the promotion’s jump to pay-per-view (PPV) in 2022; however, “The Problem Child” could also help launch a new television partner, depending on his timeline for competing.
Paul is currently under contract with Showtime boxing and his pending MMA deal is not expected to interfere with that agreement. In addition, there appears to be little urgency to get Paul back inside the ring, despite this urgent plea from rival Tommy Fury.
It also helps that Paul has multiple destinations available for his transition to MMA, despite getting door-slammed by UFC President Dana White. Bellator MMA — which already has an existing partnership with Showtime Sports — is also looking to board the Paul train in 2022.
That said, sources indicate that Paul is leaning toward PFL to retain more control of his brand, while also utilizing some of the promotion’s technological advancements and social media integration, a calling card for the tech-savvy “Problem Child.”
A decision is expected within the next few weeks.