Former UFC welterweight attraction Nate Diaz will collide with YouTube sensation Jake Paul in a special pay-per-view (PPV) boxing headliner on DAZN, set for Sat., Aug. 5, 2023 inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Daniel Cormier is not a fan.
“I don’t know how much I like it, I don’t know how much I like the fight, based on two things,” the former UFC champion told his YouTube followers. “Jake’s big for him, Jake’s gonna be big for Diaz. And Jake also is improving as a boxer, but Jake can also hit Nate. And that’s the worry. Nate is a guy that does get hit, because Nate’s tough. Nate got hit by Masvidal, Nate got hit by Tony Ferguson. And we know who Tony Ferguson is today opposed to who Tony Ferguson was before. Nate can be hit. And this guy’s gonna be bigger than Nate, this guy’s gonna be fighting in a ruleset that benefits him. This guy is going to be ... difficult. It’s going to be a very tough fight for Diaz, just because he has to be so aware.”
Diaz (0-0), who turns 38 this weekend, will be making his professional boxing debut after spending his entire career in MMA. The 26 year-old Paul (6-1, 4 KOs) is looking to rebound from his split decision loss to Tommy Fury earlier this yer in Dubai.
“Now, can Diaz outbox him? Yeah, if he can outwork him,” Cormier continued. “Diaz’s ability to outwork people is what’s gonna be his biggest advantage in this fight because the one thing we have seen in Paul, we saw it against Tyron (Woodley) the first time, we saw it against Tommy Fury last time, we’ve seen it on numerous occasions he can get tired, he can fatigue, because all this stuff is new to him. Nate doesn’t get tired. So if Nate’s gonna have an opportunity to win this fight, Nate has gotta set a high pace early and he’s gotta keep that pace going the entirety of the fight. And he has got to stay away from the right hand.”
The right hand of Paul was powerful enough to knockout two former UFC welterweights in the form of Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley. And it sounds like Cormier, who is now a color commentator and analyst for ESPN, is picking size over stamina.
“Am I comfortable making a prediction on this fight? I don’t know,” Cormier said. “But if I’m having to guess, seeing them both recently. I feel like the bigger, younger guy is generally who you would go with. And the bigger, younger, fresher guy is Paul. Paul has not been through the wars with Conor McGregor. Paul has not been through the wars of being in UFC championship fights with the best fighters in the world. He’s fresh, his toughest fight was against Tommy Fury. And he’s bigger. That is what I think may ultimately be one of the biggest issues that my boy Nate has to deal with when it comes to that fight. But if anyone can upset the apple cart, it’s Nate Diaz. I’m happy Nate gets the opportunity to fight and make a boatload of money. I would be lying to you if I didn’t say it makes me a tad bit nervous, because I worry if this dude hits Nate, maybe he’s able to put him down. Boxing is so much different than anything we’ve ever done.”
Diaz is currently the odds-on betting underdog.