YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul is finally dipping his toes into mixed martial arts after news emerged that the 25-year-old had signed a deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
The New York Times reported that Paul had signed a multi-year deal with the PFL and joined the promotion’s “Super Fight” division, an off-shoot from the PFL’s season-based format that will allow the organization to book one-off showcase bouts to be aired on pay-per-view.
In addition, Paul has also taken up a role with the PFL, and will act as the promotion’s newly-created position of “Head of Fighter Advocacy.” The report also states that Paul’s manager, former UFC executive Nakisa Bidarian, will assist the promotion with operations and logistics for its pay-per-view events.
Paul announced the development in a video on his YouTube channel titled “Officially announcing my first MMA fight,” where he laid out in detail his involvement with the PFL.
“That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. You read the title correctly,” he began.
“I’ve officially signed as an MMA fighter to the fastest-growing sports league in the world, the PFL, baby!
“And not only am I an MMA fighter now, officially signed to an organization. I am also a co-founder of the new PFL pay-per-view Super Fight division.
The big bosses got around the table. Chairman Don Davis, CEO Peter Murray, Nakisa Bidarian needs no explanation, and myself. We came together to launch the PFL pay-per-view Super Fight division.
“I will be the Head of Fighter Advocacy, and as the Head of Fighter Advocacy, I’m going to use my platform to market PFL fighters and introduce them to my fans worldwide. I personally will be deeply involved in making sure the PFL is the best place in the world for fighters.
“As you guys know, I’ve been trying to increase fighter pay for all fighters worldwide. And with the launch of this new PFL Super Fight division, our fighters will be receiving 50 percent of the revenue. Yes, you heard that correctly. A true 50-50 partnership with fighters that still allows them to be individual and even monetize their own sponsorship deal, which as we know, isn’t allowed in the UFC. You have to do what you’re told, and wear what you’re told and promote what you’re told.
“Today is a massive day for star pay-per-view fighters, because you have another massive league that is ready to do big business. And I am the first fighter to sign to the new PFL pay-per-view Super Fight division, and I’m taking this seriously, OK? Yes, I still want to become a world champion in boxing, but as you guys know, I was a wrestler first and when all of these influencers starting boxing and calling people out, you’ll recall, I said I wanted to do MMA.
“I’ve already disrupted boxing, and now it’s time to disrupt MMA. I know this is such a tough sport, and it’s not going to be easy. But if I can do it in boxing, I can do it in MMA.”
Paul then revealed that he has already made an offer to lock in his first MMA fight in the PFL, and it’s a biggie.
“I’m so dedicated to this that I offered Nate Diaz a two-fight deal,” he explained.
“First, we box. Then, six months later, we fight MMA in the PFL SmartCage, and lay it all on the line. If that’s not balls, I don’t know what is. Nate Diaz, I’m down to fight you in your own damn sport! It’s a two-fight deal. Let’s make it happen!”