Jake Paul has revealed that talks have begun with the team of UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman over a future fight.
The YouTuber and 'The Nigerian Nightmare' have been engaged in a media war of words since Jake Paul knocked out Ben Askren in April. Paul has challenged Usman to meet him in the boxing ring, promising the 34-year-old his "biggest payday".
Usman returned fire, trying to persuade the younger Paul brother to meet him in the Octagon. But despite Dana White's public claims that he doesn't want contracted UFC fighters to take on the Paul brothers, Jake has said the negotiations have begun.
Talking to the Beyond the Fight show, Paul revealed: "There's conversations happening. I believe Usman's manager is already in talks with Dana and I think that's all I could say.
"But 100%, I'm down for the smoke [to fight Usman]. I want all the smoke.
"Daniel Cormier, another example."
Challenge accepted.@USMAN84kg if your boss Dana gives you permission to box me and make more money than you ever have, let me know and we can lace them up. I promise it will be your biggest pay day.- GOTCHA HAT (@jakepaul) April 27, 2021
Presumably any contest between Usman and Paul would take place in the boxing ring, as an MMA contest would be impossible to market as even semi-competitive. And it would mean a U-turn from UFC president White over letting his combatants take on social media stars in boxing crossover bouts.
But Paul has turned himself into a combat sports pay-per-view attraction in the USA, so there would presumably be big offers on the table for Usman to be the next man to try to shut 'The Problem Child's mouth after Askren failed.
Cormier is another option for Paul's fourth professional boxing contest. And perhaps a likelier one, as he's retired from mixed martial arts and therefore not contracted to UFC as a fighter.
The pair had a heated, face-to-face confrontation at UFC 261 where Cormier revealed: "I pointed at him, I said, 'Don't play with me.' Because I'll slap that s**t out of him. I don't play those games."
However two-weight UFC world champion Cormier has said he'll only fight Jake Paul under MMA rules.
Daniel Cormier online- GOTCHA HAT (@jakepaul) April 25, 2021
"Imma Smack Jake Paul when I see him"
Daniel Cormier in person... pic.twitter.com/zHnssneYBV
"I don't want to fight Jake Paul. But I'm not gonna let Jake Paul disrespect me," the 42-year-old told the DC & Helwani show. "Let me tell you one thing about Jake Paul and I'll refer back to the Conor McGregor deal.
"Conor went to fight Floyd [Mayweather], made a ton of money, because he had to. Floyd Mayweather is the greatest boxer of all time, so you go play on his playing field. Why would I go and box Jake Paul?"
Will we see Paul vs Usman in the YouTuber's next boxing bout? Or Paul vs Cormier? Or will 'The Problem Child' have a totally different opponent as he looks to extend his record to 4-0?
All imagery: PA Images/Instagram @jakepaul
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