Jake Paul signing with PFL as influencer makes transfer to MMA

Jake Paul is shifting into combined martial arts and can accomplish that with the Skilled Fighters League.

The entertainer and social media influencer-turned-professional boxer introduced Thursday that he has signed an MMA contract with PFL. Phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed, however PFL chairman and co-founder Donn Davis instructed ESPN it’s a multifight, multiyear deal.

Paul, 25, holds an expert boxing report of 6-0 with 4 knockouts. His highest-profile fights have come towards MMA fighters, together with former UFC champions Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva. Paul has teased a transition to MMA previously however is anticipated to proceed his skilled boxing profession as effectively.

“I’ve proven myself in and out of the boxing ring and now I am going to do the same in MMA,” Paul mentioned in an announcement. “There is no limit to the positive impact I can make on the sport. I plan to enter the PFL SmartCage and once again show the world that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.”

There isn’t any time-frame for Paul’s MMA debut, however he instructed The New York Instances that he needs to face MMA celebrity Nate Diaz this 12 months — first in a boxing match then in a MMA combat with PFL. Diaz, 37, is at present a fight sports activities free agent after he fought out his UFC contract for the primary time since 2007.

Davis mentioned it may take a full 12 months for Paul to make his MMA debut however that will probably be a critical enterprise each time it occurs.

“I think what’s made Jake interesting to fans is that he works hard and he doesn’t underestimate what it takes,” Davis instructed ESPN. “He knows he’s not ready [for his MMA debut] right now, but he’s starting to train. I think it’s going to be about one year from now, so early 2024, where you’ll see him take on his first opponent. But the kind of opponents he is thinking of will shock the world in terms of their status and name brand.”

Paul’s deal is the primary of PFL’s newly developed “Pay-per-view Super Fight Division,” which is separate from its regular-season rosters. The PFL held its first pay-per-view occasion on ESPN in November and intends to host two extra PPV occasions in 2023. These occasions are anticipated to air on ESPN within the U.S. and DAZN internationally.

Fighters signed to the Tremendous Combat Division will seem on these occasions, with a 50% income share between the promotion and athletes.

Along with ultimately competing, Paul has accepted the position of head of fighter advocacy at PFL, which is able to primarily see him promote the collection’ athletes and help in recruitment. Paul and his enterprise accomplice Nakisa Bidarian have been made minority fairness house owners within the PFL model, in keeping with a information launch.

“As Head of Fighter Advocacy, 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.” Paul mentioned.

Paul, who boasts 21.5 million followers on Instagram and one other 4.5 million on Twitter, broke into fight sports activities in 2020 as one thing of a novelty act however has steadily improved each his talent and stage of competitors. His previous 4 opponents — Silva, Woodley (twice) and Ben Askren — have been all thought of previous their aggressive prime but additionally carried way more fight sports activities expertise. Paul’s most up-to-date win was towards Silva in October.

He has loudly advocated for fighter rights and pay, each in boxing and MMA. He has additionally butted heads with UFC president Dana White concerning his in-ring accomplishments and fighter rights.