scorecardJake Paul has signed a deal to compete in PFL MMA, and is targeting 2 mega fights with Nate Diaz
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Jake Paul has signed a deal to compete in PFL MMA, and is targeting 2 mega fights with Nate Diaz

Alan Dawson   

Jake Paul has signed a deal to compete in PFL MMA, and is targeting 2 mega fights with Nate Diaz
Sports3 min read
  • Jake Paul will challenge himself athletically in ultimate fighting this year.
  • The 25-year-old provocateur and boxer will make his MMA debut with Professional Fighters League.

Jake Paul is shaking up the combat sports world once again.

The 25-year-old provocateur, internet sensation, and burgeoning boxer has signed a deal to compete in the rising American brand Professional Fighters League (PFL).

Paul will still box, but he'll also participate in MMA matches for PFL. These matches will take place behind a paywall called "PFL PPV Super Fights."

According to a PFL statement sent to Insider, Paul will be the first of many athletes the company will sign to its pay-per-view division. The league will split the PPV revenue on a 50-50 basis with its fighters.

Paul, who has recorded four knockouts from six wins in boxing, said in a statement: "I've proven myself in and out of the boxing ring, and now I am going to do the same in MMA, and there is no limit to the positive impact I can make on the sport."

It is, as of yet, unclear who he will debut against in ultimate fighting under the PFL banner; however, he is warm to the idea of competing against former UFC icon Nate Diaz.

In promotional footage PFL posted Thursday, Paul said: "I've officially signed as an MMA fighter to the fastest-growing sports league in the world — the PFL, baby."

He added: "I offered Nate Diaz a two-fight deal. First, we box. Then six months later, we fight MMA in the PFL SmartCage and lay it all on the line.

"If that's not balls, then I don't know what is," he said. "Nate Diaz, I'm down to fight you in your own damn sport."

Watch the promo clip right here:

Paul wants other big-name athletes to join him in PFL

Paul also has an equity stake in PFL, incentivizing him to help grow the brand into the de facto No. 2 organization, behind UFC.

"I plan to enter the PFL SmartCage and once again show the world that anything is possible with hard work and dedication," he said.

"Outside of the cage, equal fighter pay and advocating for female fighters has been my passion, and I am aligned with PFL to evolve the sport.

"I believe in PFL, its mission, and what they have accomplished in a very short period of time. That is why I chose to partner with PFL exclusively, both as a fighter and a businessperson."

In a call to free agents, he said: "I will consistently promote PFL fighters and I invite all top MMA fighters, both men and women, to join the PFL and get a payday like they've never had before."

Jake Paul could help PFL generate its most lucrative event in history

PFL founder and chairman Donn Davis said he's "gratified" that Paul has joined his business. "I can't wait to see what Jake does as a fighter, creator, and promoter in MMA with PFL," Davis said.

According to a source with knowledge of the pay-per-view market in boxing, Paul's last event on Showtime PPV generated up to 300,000 sales in US households.

Should that hit-rate transfer to PFL then it would be the biggest pay-per-view event in the MMA company's history.

Founded in 2017 and launched in 2018, PFL is unique in the combat sports landscape, as it operates with a league format akin to traditional American sports leagues, like the NFL, NBA, and MLB, with a regular season, playoffs, and championships. PFL winners receive $1 million checks at the end of each season.

It airs in the US on ESPN and ESPN+ and will return in the coming months.