Since his knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson, Jake Paul has been trash talking anyone and everyone who crosses his path. His primary target has been Conor McGregor, but with a firm no from UFC boss Dana White, the controversial YouTube star is apparently moving on to another opponent. Paul officially announced this week he’ll get back in the ring on April 17th, and he’ll be fighting, well, we’re not really sure about that part yet.
In typical Jake Paul fashion, he made the announcement in the form of a hype video. It ran on TMZ and featured some details about when he’s stepping in the ring, a bunch of teases of specifics he’s not announcing yet and then, of course, more trash talk aimed toward Conor McGregor, other mixed martial arts fighters and more.
In short, Paul will apparently be fighting on April 17th. It’ll be a pay-per-view event. Snoop Dogg will be back doing commentary. There will be undercards featuring big names, huge musical performances and all involved are hoping it’ll be the biggest pay-per-view event ever. Here are some scattered quotes from the hype video…
We are going for the biggest pay per view event ever. That’s the goal. I’m so, so excited. It’s going to come up fast… There’s a bunch of people we’re trying to lock down as opponents. I want to fight a real fighter. That’s what we’ve sorta been working on. It’s crazy because once you start actually going into contracts with a lot of these people like Dillon Danis, they don’t actually want to sign the contract. They don’t actually want to get down to business. They’re scared. We’ve been talking to a lot of people. Hopefully we’re gonna be able to announce the opponent next week, but these MMA fighters, they don’t want the smoke. They seriously don’t want the smoke. Conor, this is your last chance. If it’s not you, that $50M offer goes away… This is sorta your last chance. People are saying you don’t need $50M, but that’s the highest you’ve ever been offered for a fight.
You can criticize Jake Paul all you want for running his mouth too much. You can also think it’s ridiculous that he attracts so many pay-per-view buys, but his entire approach to this next fight is straight out of the boxing superstar playbook. Most fighters work to find the right opponent. The truly elite fighters, absent someone really obvious and compelling to fight, often pick the dates they want to fight first and then pencil in the right opponents after that.
As for who should appear on the undercard, it’s always important when trying to book a pay-per-view to draw money from different places. Like Jake Paul fighting his brother Logan Paul, as an example, would be absolute must see entertainment for fans of the Paul Brothers, but it wouldn’t draw much money outside of their ecosystem. One of the reasons why the Jake Paul/ Nate Robinson fight sold so well is because it was the primary undercard to Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. Paul brought his own fans along, and those fans were met or perhaps even surpassed by Mike Tyson’s fans who bought too, even though they probably didn’t have a huge interest in Jake Paul.
As for who the opponent will end up being, I don’t want to even speculate. I think he would be better off trying to fight another former professional athlete, as it would give him a big name and an easier path to another victory, but he seems intent on fighting someone who has experience in the fight game. It’s unclear whether any actual household names will be willing to go along for that ride, and I’m not sure I see the upside in him fighting a lower end fighter. We’ll see. Expect Paul to announce sometime in the next week or two and for that announcement to be its own well-publicized sideshow.