If you've been a longtime combat sports viewer, then it's probably come as a big surprise to you that in the last few years, the professional fighting landscape has been monetarily dominated by YouTubers and social media influencers who are airing manufactured grudges in order to sell pay-per-views. News recently hit that Logan Paul would be boxing Floyd Mayweather and now the other Paul brother, Jake, is trying to secure a match against Conor McGregor.
Jake Paul's trash talk of Conor McGregor included jibes directed at the former UFC champion's wife.
When it comes to combat sports it's difficult to deny that Conor McGregor is one of the world's biggest stars. He's headlined five of the UFC's top 10 best selling pay-per-views, and the cards he's headlined have sold a combined 9,624,000 units (approximately).
Judging from the number of PPV buys that the Paul brothers have moved on their respective bouts despite fighting unranked opponents and showcasing fighting skills many pros have scoffed at, a fight between Jake and Conor would probably sell well.
Jake also mentioned in his call out that him and his team have offered Conor McGregor $50 million for the fight and accused the Irishman of being "scared." He also said that it was pathetic for him to fight Dustin Poirier, and his own dog had more followers on Instagram than the pro fighter.
What followed was a heated discussion on social media vs reality, with many folks wishing that Conor would take the fight in order to "teach Jake Paul" a lesson.
What the Paul brothers are doing is not new.
It's one of the oldest tactics in professional sports and, in the pro-wrestling world, is referred to as "turning heel." Floyd Mayweather himself indulges certain heel characteristics in order to sell pay-per-views. The highest selling boxing event of all time was the much anticipated bout between Floyd and Manny Pacquiao, a pugilist many said Floyd had intentionally dodged for years and only fought when he was past his prime.
Floyd won the uneventful bout with his usual, defensive, counter-punching style. His "technical" victory echoes the "technical" success of the Paul brothers, in that while they're extremely rich, there are few people who would ever want to willingly give birth to someone who acts like that on a daily basis, according to their harshest critics on social media.
Conor gives people brain damage with his hands. The Paul brothers give it with their videos— Team Neal (@ufcLawrence) December 14, 2020
Many also took umbrage to the fact that Jake had involved Conor's wife, Dee Devlin, in the post, stating that "he could do better," as well as accusing Conor of being scared to lose to a YouTuber. Personally, if I was Conor, I'd take the fight on the stipulation that winner takes the purse and all percentages of the PPV buys, leaving the loser with no money from the fight, and that both him and his brother would have to quit social media forever.
I will fight you.— Wudan Master (@OfWudan) December 15, 2020
"What's the matter, Jake? Think you're going to lose? I'll forfeit everything and go off social media if I lose. What about you? You see, that's the difference between Instagram and reality folks."
Jake Paul is also naturally bigger than Conor and has a history of wrestling in high school, so why not make it an MMA match too? Or switch the rules from round to round?
Jake extended his smack talking to Conor's teammate, jiu-jitsu ace Dillon Danis, out in public, and many believe that this is the actual fight he's gunning to get. Conor would more than likely knock out Jake quite easily, but a straight up boxing match between Jake and Dillon might be a more close affair.
Conor McGregor hasn't offered a response to Jake Paul, but Dana White has and it's pretty incredible.
Jake kept telling Conor and Dana White that they're scared to set up the fight, to which Dana responded, "I'm thinking of letting Amanda Nunes knock his ass out."
For those who aren't familiar, Amanda Nunes is an absolute savage fighter and one of the most dominant women's champions the UFC has ever seen.
She regularly trains with male team members and is also one of the most respected pugilists in the game. She'd have a size disadvantage against Jake Paul, but my money would be on Amanda all day. It'll obviously never happen, and many fight fans are hoping that'll be the same fate with a potential fight between Paul and McGregor, as this has nothing to do with sport, and everything to do with showmanship.