Jake Paul is hoping he can convince UFC boss Dana White to let him fight Jorge Masvidal, but admitted he’s in talks with three other fighters as well.
Tommy Fury, Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort are all in the running to take on the YouTube star following his victory over Tyron Woodley.
You-Tuber-turned-Paul boxer is still a man in demand
Paul far passed the former UFC welterweight champion in his hometown of Cleveland last month to move to 4-0 since starting his career as a professional boxer in January 2020.
It followed a sensational first-round knockout of Ben Askren in April, as the 24-year-old earned a lucrative promotional deal with Showtime Sports and an even bigger target on his back.
Few fighters have been able to gain such traction or attention after just four fights, with Paul and his team in talks with Frank Warren and Fury for a fight later this year.
Still, speaking to reporter Ariel Helwani on MMA Hour, the Ohio native revealed that his rival and current UFC welterweight Masvidal is his No.1 target.
The UFC welterweight contender trained with Paul ahead of his fight with Askren in April
“We’re talking to four different parties, four different fighters, and see which one makes the most sense,” Paul said. “Honestly, from a personal point of view, I wish it was Masvidal.
“Just because of the gossip, just because of his name, just because he’s still in his prime and there’s a lot of personal beef out there after I take out his boy Tyron [Woodley].
“I hope Dana would let him out of his contract but we’re not sure that could happen.” But for me personally, I think it would be the toughest challenge, the toughest guy, and the biggest name – the most relevant right now.
“I think this is the one to do. I think it will happen at some point, but it’s definitely high on my list.
Fury beat Paul’s training partner Anthony Taylor
It is understood that Fury, who was also on the card in Cleveland last month, is the more realistic option for Paul’s fifth fight and a December date has been brought up.
The former Disney Channel star has moved home to Puerto Rico while his trainer BJ Flores and trainer J’Leon Love are enjoying a much-needed downtime after three-month training camp for Woodley.
In order to fight a UFC star, White would have to sign the fight the same way he did to allow Conor McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Still, Paul referred to White’s refusal to allow Georges St-Pierre to fight Oscar De La Hoya as a clear indication of why “Gamebred” may have to wait until his contract expires before one. combat can take place.
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“His dad Dana White just has to let him do it,” added Paul. “This is what it is.
“Dana would not leave [Georges St-Pierre] fight in that Triller Fight Club he was trying to do [against De La Hoya earlier this year].
“Dana stopped him from doing that, so Dana blocks everyone, being greedy.”
“I think he’s starting to realize that I’m embarrassing a lot of his UFC fighters.
“It’s a bad look for him but there is money to be made so we’ll see what happens for sure eventually.”