Top UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley was in attendance for the Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva boxing match in Arizona on Saturday.
O’Malley had front row seats inside Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale and witnessed Paul defeat the former UFC middleweight champion by unanimous decision. O’Malley was impressed by Paul’s performance.
“He impressed me. Jake impressed me. I thought the later the fight went on that Anderson might kind of put it on him if it continued to go in to the later rounds. I think it just goes to show how good of shape Jake was in, how serious he took the fight camp, how serious he takes the sport,” O’Malley said on The MMA Hour.
“He was throwing good combos on the inside. He was going to the body nice. He was doing a lot of things right, and I was very impressed with Jake,” O’Malley added.
The biggest criticism about Paul’s undefeated boxing career thus far is he hasn’t faced an actual boxer. He defeated a YouTube content creator in his boxing debut. In his second bout, he knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson. His next four wins were over former UFC fighters.
He knocked out Ben Askren in his third outing, fought former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to a split decision, and knocked him out in the rematch. He moved to 6-0 with his victory over Silva on Saturday. Despite all of that, O’Malley wants to see Paul face former UFC fighter Nate Diaz next.
“I always want to see the biggest fights. Jake Paul versus Nate Diaz is the biggest fight. That’s what I would like to see,” O’Malley said. “Jake, I think, wants to be taken more serious and fight a real boxer boxer and go after a belt, but I think, I’m like, you might as well fight Nate Diaz.”
Diaz was involved in a backstage altercation with members of Paul’s team exiting the venue. Paul called out Diaz in the ring following the fight. He did so again during the event’s post-fight press conference. Although it would be a huge payday for Diaz, O’Malley isn’t sure would take it.
“I don’t know if Nate takes that fight. Nate might have seen, you know, Jake looked good. It’s not like Nate probably looked at it and thought I can go in there and just whoop him. That might be a fight that Nate doesn’t even really take,” said O’Malley.