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Jake Paul has set his sights on the next challenge in his burgeoning boxing career.
Paul told ESPN’s Marc Raimondi he wants UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal but conceded UFC President Dana White could be an obstacle in any negotiations.
“If his dad Dana lets him out of his contract, that would probably be the biggest fight out of all of these that we’re talking about,” he said. “I would love nothing more. It’s a good test for my skill, right? He’s the ‘Gamebred’ street fighter, with his hands. I would love that— I would love that fight.”
Paul reeled off a few other options and explained why he didn’t see them as viable opponents.
He said Tyron Woodley, whom he beat by split decision in August, hasn’t gotten the tattoo they agreed was necessary for a rematch (warning: video contains profanity):
SHOWTIME Boxing @ShowtimeBoxing
Round 2 anyone? 😳🔥#PaulWoodley pic.twitter.com/xmMfQhAqz4
Former UFC star Vitor Belfort challenged Paul immediately after his win over Evander Holyfield, but he was described by the 24-year-old as being “old and washed up.”
Tommy Fury, a professional boxer who gained wide popularity after appearing on Love Island, seems to be another logical candidate, having already featured on the card headlined by Paul and Woodley. However, Paul raised doubts about whether Fury could provide the kind of commercial potential he’s seeking.
Masvidal, on the other hand, checks both boxes.
The 36-year-old is an established UFC star, combining with Kamaru Usman to help generate 1.3 million pay-per-view buys for UFC 251 in July 2020, according to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger. His reputation as a striker would also lead fans to think a fight with Paul could be an engaging spectacle.
White worked with Mayweather Promotions to set up Conor McGregor’s 2017 fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., so that set a precedent in terms of UFC allowing one of its top fighters to explore an event outside of the Octagon.
In the case of Mayweather vs. McGregor, White had around $600 million reasons to give McGregor the green light. There’s probably no chance Masvidal vs. Paul would come close to that total, but the potential revenue might be enough for Paul and White to quash their ongoing feud.