Influencer/boxer/general famous person Jake Paul has announced that he has signed with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), and will make his mixed martial arts debut this year.
Paul says he’s not done with boxing, but one has to wonder if perhaps the well was starting to run dry in that venue, and that Paul was seeing the writing on the wall, at least as far as keeping it interesting and being able to deliver the sort of pay-per-view buys he wants. He did admit that his fight with Anderson Silva last year didn’t do what they’d hoped.
Paul, of course, also made sure to specifically target UFC and his press rival Dana White with the announcement, and while PFL has never been anything close to UFC as a business, this is the sort of thing that can bring them attention they never would have achieved otherwise, and with that attention, the potential to generate revenue that could make them an actual UFC rival.
From Paul’s announcement:
“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 ... but I am also a co-founder of the new PFL pay-per-view super fight division.”
“I personally will be deeply involved in making sure the PFL is the best place in the world for fighters. As you guys now, I’ve been trying to increase fighter pay for all fighters worldwide, and with the launch of this new division, our fighters will be receiving 50 percent of the revenue. A true 50/50 partnership with fighters that still allows them to be individuals and even monetize their own sponsorship deals, which as we know, isn’t allowed in the UFC.”
“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. When all of these influencers started boxing and calling people out, if you 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 this is not gonna be easy, but if I can do it in boxing, I can do it in MMA. I’m so dedicated to this that I offered Nate Diaz a two-fight deal. First, we box, then six months later, we fight MMA in the PFL and lay it all on the line. If that’s not balls, I don’t know what is!”
The rest is very “influencer video,” and you can watch it here: