Nate Diaz is now a free agent, and MMA fans all over the world are wondering what he will do next. A boxing match with YouTube sensation Jake Paul could be one option.
Nate Diaz and Jake Paul have teased a fight on numerous occasions, so should this fight finally take place? Sure, a win or a loss will not return Diaz to the top of the MMA world, but a fight with ‘The Problem Child’ makes a lot of sense.
Here are five reasons why Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul is a must-see fight.
5 Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul has a pre-written storyline that will help sell the fight.
Many of boxing’s and MMA’s most famous rivalries began organically, with two fighters having issues long before they were matched up.
That’s the case with Nate Diaz and Jake Paul, who have been feuding for some time, mostly on social media. Their feud dates back to 2021, when Diaz took to Twitter to attack ‘The Problem Child’ following his knockout victory over Ben Askren.
After calling Askren a “retired wrestler who can’t fight or box,” he claimed Paul would “get smoked in a real fight,” implying that his fights with Tyron Woodley and Askren didn’t really count.
After losing to Paul in the boxing ring, Diaz recently accused Anderson Silva of “being on the payroll.” As a result, ‘The Problem Child’ labelled the Stockton fan a “street gangster.”
Given that the two men clashed backstage following Paul’s victory over Silva, with Diaz reportedly confronting members of Paul’s entourage, there’s a ready-made storyline to sell their fight with.
With so many insults already hurled at each other, the only logical next step is for Diaz and Paul to meet in the ring and settle the score.
4. The fight makes sense for Jake Paul because he has several advantages.
The most serious criticism levelled at Jake Paul’s boxing career thus far is that the YouTuber appears to have hand-picked opponents over whom he has some kind of advantage, despite the fact that they have far more combat experience than him.
It was not surprising to see ‘The Problem Child’ defeat Ben Askren. ‘Funky’ was never known for his striking in MMA and appeared painfully out of shape in their fight.
Fans clearly favoured Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva, both of whom lost to Paul. Woodley, on the other hand, was on a major downward spiral prior to his two fights with the YouTuber. Silva, who turned 47 in April of this year, should have retired years ago.
So, how does Nate Diaz fit into this pattern? It’s certainly debatable, which is why this fight makes sense for ‘The Problem Child.’
To begin with, Diaz is naturally much smaller than Paul, who competes at cruiserweight. Diaz, on the other hand, has only ever fought at 170 pounds, and he isn’t exactly big at that weight.
Second, Diaz is 37 years old and has passed his prime. He’s also taken a colossal amount of damage over the years, which means he’s nowhere near as tough as he once was.
Sure, he’s probably a better technical boxer than any of Paul’s other opponents. Despite being a smaller, ageing MMA fighter, he remains a very beatable opponent for ‘The Problem Child.’ That means he’ll be an appealing opponent as well.
3. The fight makes sense for Nate Diaz, who has multiple ways to win.
Jake Paul may see Nate Diaz, a smaller and older MMA fighter with decades of experience, as the ideal opponent right now. However, there are several reasons why Diaz might think Paul is beatable as well.
To begin, while ‘The Problem Child’ has six professional boxing victories, all of his opponents could be called into question. It’s debatable whether he’s been particularly impressive in some of his victories.
More to the point, his technique does not always appear to be flawless. In his longer fights against Tyron Woodley and Anderson Silva, he also became very tired as the rounds progressed.
In essence, Paul is still a novice in the world of boxing. He would not be getting the attention he is getting if it weren’t for his YouTube fame.
Diaz, on the other hand, has never boxed professionally, but he has long been regarded as one of the UFC’s sharper boxers. His volume-heavy, combination-based game allowed him to defeat top strikers like Conor McGregor, Anthony Pettis, and Michael Johnson, as well as nearly upset Leon Edwards.
More importantly, his gas tank is fantastic, and it would be a huge surprise to see him tyre out during a fight at the age of 37.
While he’d have to give up some size and power to Paul in this fight, he’d almost certainly have the upper hand in technique and cardio. Because of his volume in the later rounds, he has a good chance of beating ‘The Problem Child.’
Diaz’s biggest win would obviously not be Paul, but in terms of name value, it doesn’t get much better than this. This gives the Stockton-based fighter every reason to accept the fight.
2. Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul could pave the way for two more fights in the future.
Jake Paul and Nate Diaz’s personalities couldn’t be more dissimilar, but they do share one thing: they both have arguably more famous older brothers in Logan Paul and Nick Diaz, respectively.
Logan Paul, like ‘The Problem Child,’ rose to prominence as a YouTuber, but has since moved on to boxing and pro-wrestling, where he currently works for WWE. Nick Diaz, of course, has been with the UFC since 2013, and has competed in major fights against Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.
What does this have to do with a potential fight between Paul and Diaz? Given their siblings’ fiery personalities, the fight could pave the way for future fights between Logan and Nate and Jake and Nick.
From this vantage point, the outcome of the first Paul vs. Diaz fight would be essentially meaningless. Regardless, the story of the vengeful older brother pursuing the victor would be an easy sell.
Given the fame of both sets of brothers, any fight involving them – even a tag-team match if they went pro-wrestling – would be a major draw, making the initial fight even more compelling.
1. Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul could gross a lot of money on pay-per-view.
Naturally, the most compelling reason to stage a fight between Jake Paul and Nate Diaz is that it would almost certainly generate a sizable pay-per-view audience. Of course, both men would make a lot of money in the process.
So far in his brief boxing career, Paul has proven to be a strong draw, though it appears that the novelty of seeing the YouTuber fight has recently begun to fade.
His fight with Ben Askren in 2021 drew over a million pay-per-view buys, but his subsequent fights have been noticeably less popular. His most recent fight, for example, reportedly only drew a draw.
People will definitely pay to see ‘The Problem Child’ in action against the right opponent, however. Diaz could be that opponent.
It’s certainly possible. Diaz has long been regarded as one of the UFC’s top draw cards, attracting two massive buyrates in 2016 for his fights with Conor McGregor.
While he hasn’t reached those heights since, his fight with Jorge Masvidal in 2019 was one of the biggest of the year. His fight with Leon Edwards added even more intrigue to UFC 263 in 2021.
More importantly, UFC 279, which featured Diaz in the main event against Tony Ferguson, was easily one of the most talked-about events of 2022.
Add in the fact that the TUF 5 winner and YouTube sensation Paul already have a rivalry, and it appears that a fight between them would quickly become a huge deal. Could it generate over a million pay-per-view purchases? It’s certainly possible, and it would make the whole thing worthwhile.