Michael Bisping believes Jake Paul‘s announced foray into martial arts is merely a publicity stunt.
“The Problem Child” recently signed with the PFL with plans to compete in MMA, and with that news came Paul’s challenge to Diaz to meet him in a two-fight series, first in a boxing ring and then in a cage under MMA rules. Paul and Diaz have publicly snubbed each other in the past, and the likelihood of a fight between the two has only increased since Diaz became a free agent following UFC 279 this past September.
Though Diaz would presumably have the advantage in the ring, Bisping is upset that Paul is once again targeting a smaller opponent.
“I’m not a Nate Diaz hater; that’s just what my analysis tells me, and it’s what your analysis would tell you as well, let’s be honest. He wants to beat him in that first round so that he has that memory for when they do have the mixed martial arts fight. Again, that would not be sanctioned normally because he is far too large.”
Bisping’s assessment of the fight hasn’t changed since November, when he commented on rumours of a potential Paul-Diaz fight, predicting that Diaz would not fare well. The 18-year MMA veteran had a mixed UFC career, going 4-3 in sporadic appearances since 2015 and most recently defeating Tony Ferguson by fourth-round submission.
Whatever happens in a fight with Paul, Bisping sees Diaz as the latest opponent chosen by Paul based on name recognition and potential drawing power rather than building a legitimate martial arts resume.
“Now, Nate Diaz is a decent boxer, he’s tough as nails, he’s got great jiu-jitsu, but he’s not known for being the best wrestler,” Bisping explained. “Could he possibly take Jake Paul down? Is Nate Diaz’s career coming to an end? This is all a bunch of nonsense. All of this is Jake Paul’s attempt to navigate the waters of how he can continue to make money.
Yeah, he’s winning fights, God bless him, and good for him. Anderson Silva, whether he’s old or not, is still Anderson Silva, and he beat Tyron Woodley twice. Before that, it was wrestler Ben Askren, followed by a basketballer.
“The point I’m making is he’s never fought a boxer, but even still, these former UFC legends, they’re not pulling in the pay-per-view numbers. So now he’ll have to fight in mixed martial arts, which sounds like Jake Paul is doing the right thing. He’s brave, and he’s willing to switch sports. But he isn’t. It will be hand-picked opponents. Nate Diaz will first compete in a boxing match co-promoted by the PFL.
Paul has become one of the most talked-about athletes in combat sports, bringing his previous social media and YouTube fame into the space while also forming his own promotion, Most Valuable Promotions, to gain more control over his fighting career.
Could Paul’s executive role in the two-fight series with Diaz give him an advantage?
“The promoter arranges a lot of things when two people fight,” Bisping explained. “Press. Interviews. Hotel and airport. Flights. Pickups. Everything else. There’s nothing stopping that promoter from causing major havoc with that opponent, and if Jake Paul is the promoter, he can arrange for you not to be picked up from the airport on time.
“They are conducting interviews in the middle of the night. Their public relations schedule is completely insane. Just a bunch of little things to annoy the opponents. Now, that would be pretty dirty, and I’m not saying Jake would do something like that, but it does leave the door open for such things.”