Jake Paul stunned the MMA world once again by beating yet another former UFC champion in the boxing ring. This time it was Anderson Silva, who put up a good fight but got knocked down in the eighth round, leading to a unanimous decision loss for “The Spider.” See the scorecards here.
The win seems to set up the perfect opponent for the next Jake Paul carnival show: Nate Diaz. One of the very smart things Paul did leading up to his fight against Silva was to book Diaz’s protégé Chris Avila on the undercard, ensuring Nate and his whole team would show up to cause a ruckus at the event. And they did, getting into a backstage melee that resulted in them getting kicked out of the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale Arizona.
Following his win, Jake Paul called out Diaz in the ring and at the post-fight press conference, calling Nate a b—ch. Them’s fighting words. But according to Ariel Helwani, there’s a good chance Nate may not take the bait.
Helwani was front and center all week for the Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva fight, running the pre-fight press conference and performing roving reporter duties during the broadcast. He was also Nate Diaz’s go-to man for getting information out to the public when the UFC was holding him ‘hostage.’ So Ariel definitely has an insider’s look into what’s going on behind the scenes with both Paul and Diaz.
“I don’t think he wants to give Jake the respect of saying ‘I got out to fight you,’” Helwani said on The Ringer MMA Show. “I think he wants to let people people know ‘I got out to box. I got out to do other things. I didn’t get out to be the Jake Paul B-side’ or whatever it is, you know what I mean? He’s a very prideful guy, he’s allowed to be that.”
As for who Nate Diaz could fight that would generate as much interest and money as Jake Paul?
“Well, I’ll tell you what, there’s a pretty big name out there who doesn’t seem to mind fighting guys every couple of months for a large sum of money and not test himself,” Helwani said. “I think he’s fighting Deji in Abu Dhabi next month. Nate has mentioned Floyd Mayweather on multiple occasions. I don’t think that’s the craziest thought out there. Because what do you think: Nate Diaz vs. Floyd Mayweather on Showtime or some platform, you think that does money? I think it does. And by the way, Nate would have a massive size advantage.”
“Floyd Mayweather fought Logan Paul, for goodness sake. Now he’s fighting Deji, he’s fighting in RIZIN. You don’t think he’s going to go after Nate Diaz too?”
“So look, there’s options out there,” Helwani concluded. “And look, there are some guys out on the fringes of the world of boxing. And Jake Paul is definitely in the mix. We all know why Nate started his own promotion, he didn’t want to be fighting under [Paul’s company] MVP or Mayweather Promotions. He wants to fight under his own promotion, and all of this is in place. And I can’t wait to see how it plays out.”
Nate Diaz recently fought out his UFC contract and is currently waiting for the exclusive negotiation period with the UFC to expire before he can start talking to other fighters and promoters. Who do you want to see Nate fight in his first post-UFC bout, Maniacs? Let us know in the comments!