Last week, social media celebrity turned professional boxing Jake Paul released footage of him practicing leg kicks and tagged a couple of MMA promotions to the video.
Was it just a publicity stunt, or is Paul seriously considering making the move from boxing to MMA? He’s called for a fight against Jorge Masvidal in the UFC, but included stipulations that he knew the fight promotion wouldn’t agree to.
Paul has regularly called out UFC president Dana White over fighter pay, and White has responded. The two recently challenged each other to adhere to drug testing. Paul probably gets more coverage from MMA media outlets than boxing publications.
Rising UFC bantamweight star Sean O’Malley weighed in on the possibility of Paul transitioning to MMA during his ‘Sugar Show’ podcast.
Michael Chandler is ‘definitely interested in a Tony Ferguson fight’
“It takes so long. It’s going to take a longer time to do what he did in boxing in MMA,” O’Malley said. “Boxing, he did it fast, which is impressive. He knocked out Tyron Woodley. I mean, that’s crazy. Like, that’s pretty crazy, but to go into MMA and have success, it’s a different level. There’s just too many things that you have to get good at.”
O’Malley stopped short of saying it couldn’t be done, and believes Paul has the drive and work ethic to potentially pull it off.
“He’s got the drive, and. he’s got the heart, the work ethic. That’s proven,” O’Malley said. “I’d watch.”