Love him or hate him, Jake Paul has taken over the main topic of conversation in the world of combat sports as a whole. While the young undefeated (3-0) boxer has only competed inside the ring, he’s made waves in both the boxing world and the mixed martial arts world. While two of his three wins have come against a former NBA player (Nate Robinson) and a former MMA world champion known for his wrestling (Ben Askren), Jake Paul has taken over the headlines.
In taking over the headlines, Paul has done well in getting under the skin of many fighters including Daniel Cormier, especially in the UFC and MMA world. While he’s making headlines in both sports, Paul is not hated by everyone in the MMA community and in fact, he’s gained the respect of one world-renowned coach and UFC veteran, Din Thomas. While Paul has gone back-and-forth with UFC President Dana White over fighter pay and a bet they made for Paul’s fight against Askren, Thomas respects how Paul is going about his fighting career.
Making a guest appearance on On The Mic podcast Thomas spoke about why, despite his outlandish tactics, Jake Paul has earned his respect and it’s because, he has an understanding about how to go about his career, and he’s excelling in doing that.
“People are paying attention to the sport because of him.”
— Mike Pendleton (@MP2310) April 29, 2021
“What Jake [Paul] is doing is good. I can respect what he’s doing, honestly. I can respect that he trains. If he was doing what he was doing and didn’t train, I wouldn’t respect it. At the end of the day, he is taking his boxing career as serious as he can and he’s just trying to cash in. He’s just trying to make the most money as he can, the fastest way he can, and the easiest way he can and he’s doing a good job of that.”
Thomas acknowledges that Paul is not a traditional fighter, having made the jump from social media influencer to the world of combat sports, but credits him for not only getting the biggest names in the sport to talk about him, but also the fact that he knows that Paul has put in the work.
“Most people can’t do it and is it the traditional way? No, it’s not, but he’s not a traditional guy. But at the same time, he’s still training hard, I got to respect that. He’s putting in the work as boxers do. I know he was down training in south Florida and he was sparring with real guys and he was going hard with real guys. You got to respect that. It’s not like he’s not training hard and he’s just trying to cash in, I wouldn’t respect that, I’d be like get rid of this guy. Listen, and the sport, people are paying attention to the sport because of him.
It’s unknown what lies ahead next for Jake Paul’s boxing career and while his UFC 261 run-in with Daniel Cormier got a lot of attention and headlines, it doesn’t seem like Paul is going to be leaving the boxing world any time soon. As long as he keeps training and winning, there will be no denying his work ethic and success, all while the call outs will continue to be an annoyance for fighters in the MMA world.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews, BJPenn.com, and TheScrap.Co while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and works as an Associate Producer on Sirius XM’s Fight Nation channel.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to some of the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310