While no one is quite sure how good of a boxer Jake Paul truly is, it seems like everyone wants to step into the ring with the YouTube star. Now 3-0 with wins over a fellow YouTuber, a retired NBA star and a former MMA champion, every one of Paul’s fights have been big business at the box office.
Since his knockout of NBA star Nate Robinson, mixed martial artists, boxers, athletes and celebrities of all stripes have issued challenges to Paul. That has only intensified since Paul’s first-round knockout of Ben Askren earlier this month. While it’s not certain when Paul will return to the ring — or who his preferred opponent is — it’s clear he has no shortage of options.
Let’s take a look at the men who have called out the social media star in hopes of scoring a big payday, or just shutting Paul up.
The MMA crowd
After Paul made easy work of Askren, Cormier joked on Twitter suggesting the fight wasn’t on the up and up. This lit a fire under Paul, who responded on his brother Logan’s podcast. “I’ll beat the f— out of your fat ass too, just like Stipe did,” Paul said. “Cleveland shit. I swear to God, I’ll beat the f— out of Daniel Cormier.” Paul ultimately said he respected Cormier but suggested they fight. This led to a confrontation between Cormier and Paul during the UFC 261 broadcast, with Cormier leaving the commentary booth to confront Paul in the crowd.
Ultimately, Cormier set his terms for the challenge to be exclusive to mixed martial arts, where he is a Hall-of-Fame-level talent and multi-time world champion and Paul has no experience. “This kid wants to fight, OK, I’ll fight him,” Cormier told ESPN. “But it will be a mixed martial arts competition. If he wants to actually fight with me, fight me in mixed martial arts and then I’ll fight him all the way down at 205. I’m living fat and happy and healthy, I’ll go all the way down to 205 to fight this kid in mixed martial arts. If you really want to fight me, like seriously fight me, fight me in mixed martial arts.”
The UFC welterweight champion stood up for Cormier, suggesting that he would take care of Paul instead. “At the end of the day that’s Daniel Cormier, one of the best to do this and Jake Paul needs to put some respect on his name when he speaks about DC,” Usman told TMZ. “They’re not even in the same realm, so it’s not something I would even entertain, I wouldn’t allow DC to entertain that. DC sit down, let me take care of that for you, let me take care of that.”
After Paul accepted the idea of boxing Usman, Usman made a turnaround on the idea, tweeting, “Keep making your money young man, and stay on that side. I ain’t no Disney kid and I don’t play fighting.”
The former UFC bantamweight champion also stepped up to defend Cormier’s honor. After Paul’s challenge to Cormier, Garbrandt joined the “get in the cage” chorus, tweeting, “Your whole squad would get f—ed up. You beat a guy that can’t box in boxing. Why won’t you come to the cage? Cause your a p—-, so is your whole squad. I’d give up 50 [pounds] to you and knock that toupeé off your f—in head. You’ll be expose soon.”
Paul and Danis have engaged in a longstanding war of words, as well as Paul throwing water balloons at Danis. The jiu-jitsu star and Bellator MMA fighter has been calling for the fight for a while. On April 18, Danis tweeted — and deleted — “it’s on 100% send me the contract let’s do this i’m gonna put this c— out cold.” He has since continued to mock Paul, while also tweeting, “Let me save the MMA community.”
The UFC middleweight contender told MMAFighting he would fight Paul “basically for free,” though the terms engagement…