Paul still wants to fight Diaz in 2023, he said, but in a two-fight deal where they would fight in a boxing match first and then compete in the Super Fight division in M.M.A. about four to six months later. If the two-fight deal happens it is unclear where the boxing match would be distributed. Paul’s previous professional boxing bouts have been on Showtime and Triller, but he is not currently under contract with either.
“He’s got a growing boxing career, but it doesn’t prevent him from entering into the sport of M.M.A., and we’re excited about that,” said Peter Murray, the P.F.L.’s chief executive.
Paul’s pushing for a boxing match with Diaz follows his typical script of fighting popular figures with little or no professional boxing experience. However, fighting Diaz in M.M.A. would be unlike anything Paul has done in his fighting career, and seems far-fetched.
“I would beat Nate Diaz up in a M.M.A. fight,” Paul said, adding an expletive. “There’s nothing he could do. To me, I’ve always felt like I’ve jumped in the deep end, even in boxing, maybe besides, like, Ben Askren.” (Paul knocked out Askren, a former mixed martial artist with a wrestling background, in the first round of a boxing fight in April 2021.)
Paul pointed to his high school experience as a wrestler and two years of jujitsu training in his childhood as evidence of why he could compete in M.M.A. Yet, he said that he had been training for “like 15 minutes.”
“The biggest thing for me would be getting the kicks down,” Paul said. “But I’m going to start now, moving forward with some extra time I have within this camp. I’m going to put in some extra time, rolling around doing some jujitsu and learning some kicks.”
The new division is expected to blend fights with influencers and celebrities who show some “level of fighting proficiency” with bouts between established professional fighters, similar to the circus that has become routine with a Jake Paul boxing event.