Chael Sonnen believes a boxing match between Jake Paul and Nate Diaz would be a massive event for all parties involved and he’s probably right.
As Paul digs his heels deeper in the sport of boxing it’s going to be difficult for him to find a well-known opponent who he actually has a chance of beating. That’s why the social media influencer is picking on aging mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters like Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren. Paul’s knockout wins have certainly been a sight to behold, but there’s going to come a tipping point when he can no longer bully his opponent inside of the ring.
Luckily, Paul doesn’t need to find a legitimate boxer to push the needle in his next fight or the one after that. All he has to do is pick a relevant MMA fighter who still has some meat left on the bone and capable of actually giving him some issues in a boxing match. While Jorge Masvidal and Conor McGregor might be the first two names to come to mind it seems like the stars may be aligning for a massive superfight between Paul and Nate Diaz.
Diaz remains one of the more popular names in combat sports today. He may not compete too much or win that much, but Diaz attracts interest no matter what he’s doing. He would be a perfect choice for Paul as the social media star looks for marketable opponents that he can hang around with.
“Nate Diaz and Jake Paul. That is a Rock vs. Stone Cold matchup,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel (h/t MMA Fighting). “When you come down to who’s the bigger star, who needs who more? Nate Diaz, of course, one of the biggest stars in all of combat, period. But Jake Paul offers something special. He was a Disney kid. I’m on YouTube, I know the importance to numbers. I know how big his numbers are. He’s gotten into boxing, he has filled up arenas, and I don’t even know what the hell he’s doing and he’s filled up arenas.”
While Paul’s first few fights did solid pay-per-view (PPV) numbers his recent rematch opposite Woodley didn’t do so hot. That could be because it was a short-notice matchup, but Paul will be looking to bring someone in who can sell a fight themselves and bring more eyes to the ring. Diaz fits that bill.
“Jake Paul’s last fight was a dud by expectation. I know that because Jake Paul told us,” Sonnen said. “Jake Paul has made some very wild claims but every time they get fact-checked they turn out to be true. You can always trust Jake Paul.
“Jake told us that his last fight did not meet expectations — fine. That’s fine. I put on live events all the time, you’ve got to be used to that. You will do everything the same and one day you will have sold out 5,000 people. You will take that same recipe to a different date, for reasons that you will never understand, there will be 500 people there… What do you do? Well, only time will tell but I can tell you what did happen, they didn’t use him again.”
As of now, Diaz has one fight left on his UFC contract. The Stockton native has had a very difficult time scheduling that final bout and he’s been reaching out to the promotion on social media to show is frustration. Diaz has even mentioned the idea of retiring or competing under the Bellator MMA banner because he wants to compete now and UFC is not giving him what he wants.
Assuming Diaz holds onto his disdain for UFC he’d be unlikely to re-sign after his current contract is up. That would pave the way for a potential clash with Paul.
“Now, Jake Paul, smart enough to get in front of this, came out before Showtime and said that he was putting his boxing career on hold,” Sonnen said. “I think it had to do with like promoting or helping train a female teammate of his. He was smart enough to get in front of it. Was that the reality that he said I don’t want to fight? Or did he know that a fight wasn’t coming? I don’t have that answer for you. I can only tell you that as I surmise with the evidence I have in front of me, Jake Paul could really use Nate Diaz right now. Having one bad night isn’t enough to go into absolute panic mode. But having a bad night in the world of pay-per-view, it’s a problem. Not a lot of guys can have a bad night and ever come back from [it].”