Jake Paul delays MMA debut because of Mike Tyson event

YouTube sensation turned boxer Jake Paul faces yet another delay in his transition to MMA as he gears up for a showdown with the legendary Mike Tyson.

Renowned for his presence in the boxing ring, Paul is now poised to challenge one of the most iconic figures in combat sports history. Despite a significant age gap of 30 years between them, Paul is undeterred as he seeks to further strengthen his impressive 9-1 boxing record.

Initially in early 2023, Paul had announced a groundbreaking deal with the PFL to venture into MMA. However, his aspirations were momentarily halted when he suffered his defeat against long-standing rival Tommy Fury in a split-decision loss in Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on Paul’s dedication to combat sports, PFL head Donn Davis affirmed: “The good news is, if people didn’t think Jake was serious about combat, he’s proven to be serious. He’s gotten better. He’s doubled down on boxing at the minute, there’s no question about it. There was a time when he might have done 50/50 and right now it looks like he might be 90/10 in boxing and MMA.”

“So his development in MMA is not coming along as quickly as we thought. Will he fight for the PFL? One hundred per cent. Will he move to MMA? One hundred per cent. Is the timing delayed? It is.”

While Paul’s debut in the MMA arena was initially slated for 2024, the American athlete has deferred those plans to concentrate solely on his upcoming bout with Tyson. Additionally, Paul was reportedly prepared to offer a lucrative £15 million deal to Fury in pursuit of a two-bout series encompassing both boxing and MMA.

In a recent interview with Fox, Paul expressed his confidence ahead of the clash with Tyson. He stated: “He can’t bite my ear off if I’ve knocked the teeth out of his mouth. I really think he underestimates me. He is much stronger, but I am fresh. He is experienced. I’m smart in the ring, but maybe he’s even smarter. It will be very interesting.”

UFC CEO Dana White expressed his disapproval of Tyson’s choice to challenge Paul. He stated: “He gets mad when I do this, but Mike’s 60, man. I don’t know, what do you guys think about it? Who gives a sh*t what I think? It’s not my fight.”

“I love Mike Tyson personally as a friend, and he’s one of my favourite athletes of all time. I don’t know. Let’s see what he can go in there and put together a training camp and come in. I don’t like to see guys fighting at (that age). It’d be a 31-year age difference during that fight. You guys know what I think of that stuff.”

As Jake Paul continues to make headlines with his unconventional career trajectory, his journey from the boxing ring to the MMA cage encounters yet another delay.