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British UFC legend Michael Bisping has admitted that he turned down the opportunity to fight Jake Paul, just before the YouTuber's boxing match against Tyron Woodley was announced.
'The Count', who won the UFC middleweight title in 2016 and retired a year later, explained that he got offered a $500,000 payday to box Jake Paul. But he speculated that Woodley, also a former UFC champ, might be getting up to £1 million.
However the 42-year-old Bisping had no regrets about passing up the purse and wished Woodley all the best in his pro boxing debut in August.
"I don't know what [Woodley is] going to get paid, but I'll tell you right now: I was offered $500,000 to fight Jake Paul, so I would assume it's probably more since the fight's happening. So good for him.
"He might go out there and might be getting $1 million, and I couldn't be happier for Tyron, because he really deserves it."
Social media star Jake Paul, whose brother Logan takes on Floyd Mayweather in an exhibition this weekend, has carved a niche fighting in celebrity boxing bouts. So far he's 3-0 with three knockouts and last time obliterated a former UFC fighter in Ben Askren in one round.
The ringside view of Jake Paul's TKO. @ESPNRingside pic.twitter.com/YgasSH1Br4
- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 18, 2021
However Bisping - who would make a natural opponent for Paul, given his propensity for brash trash talk - gives Woodley a far better chance than Askren. Both are primarily wrestlers in style, but Askren - who looked in poor shape for his April fight with 'The Problem Child' - had next to no stand-up game at all, whereas Woodley has shown KO power in his MMA career.
"This is a more interesting match-up [than Askren], because before, everybody knew," said Bisping. "Well, everybody didn't know.
"Everybody f***ing kissed Ben Askren's a*** and said he was going to wipe the floor. There was one person that was smart enough, and I'm sorry to say, it was me. I knew it was going to happen. But Tyron Woodley... he could put on a fight."
"From what we've seen from Jake Paul, the guy could box a little bit. This isn't going to be an easy fight for Tyron, and certainly won't be an easy fight for Jake Paul. I'll tell you right now. Tyron is going to put up a significantly better fight than Ben Askren did. That's a fact.
Dear, @TWooodley thanks for being the second MMA fighter on my hit list.
August 28th the 5x UFC champion is getting knocked out by a Disney actor. pic.twitter.com/MHhMMp9EGl
- GOTCHA HAT (@jakepaul) June 1, 2021
"Fair play to Jake Paul as well. You can't blame the f***ing guy. He's being an entrepreneur. He's taking his fanbase and parlaying it into a way of making money in the boxing world because he's got a passion for combat sports.
"He's taking on a real fight. Tyon Woodley is a proper fighter. It's not a walk in the park."
Who knows, perhaps we could yet see Jake Paul vs Bisping in the future, depending on how things turn out in August.
Featured image credit: Instagram
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