YouTube prankster turned boxer Jake Paul has been criticized by fight fans online for reportedly agreeing to take on aging former UFC champion Tyron Woodley, with an official announcement expected on Tuesday.
Late Monday evening, The Athletic were the first to report that an agreement had been made for the pair to face one another in the squared circle.
Paul, who has recently signed a multi-fight contract with Showtime Sports that will broadcast his brother Logan’s bout against Floyd Mayweather at the weekend, currently boasts a 3-0 record.
First disposing of ex-NBA star Nate Robinson in November, he knocked out Woodley’s friend and former UFC fighter Ben Askren in the first round of their meeting in mid-April.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT TOMORROW
— GOTCHA HAT (@jakepaul) May 31, 2021
Though their fight is still yet to be announced, with confirmation expected later today as implied by a tweet from Paul, Woodley, a former welterweight champion in the UFC, is expected to pose a far greater threat than Askren to the 24-year-old and his unbeaten legacy.
The Missouri native has lost his last four outings and is expected to be cut from the elite MMA championship by president Dana White soon, but seven of his 19 octagon wins have come by knockout via his heavy right hand, meaning he poses a striking threat.
Yet many fight fans aren’t impressed by the future bout, and filled Paul’s replies to show their dismay at him taking on Woodley and not Tommy Fury.
fight a REAL boxer, not retired 50 year olds
— . (@lfcfabulous_FAB) May 31, 2021
“Fight a REAL boxer, not retired 50 year olds,” one demanded.
“He’s not retired and he’s not 50 years old either. He had a fight this year and he’s 39 years old,” came a response to that.
But it was answered with a follow-up: “Dude has lost his last 16 rounds in the UFC.. to say this fight is unnecessary is an understatement.”
— #10 (@CPulisicSZN) May 31, 2021
“Woodley hasn’t thrown a punch in a MMA fight in like four bouts. This is Paul just fighting another wrestler so he’ll probably win,” chimed in another critic.
“Well we all know he’s going to avoid a PRO boxer. He goes for easy fights to make him out to be something big,” was another repeated common criticism of the internet celebrity.
Yet not all scathing was reserved just for him, with one Woodley fan saying his respect had gone “way down” for the grappler if it’s true that he has put pen to paper on lacing them up against Paul.
Ducking that Tommy Fury Smoke to fight another Washed UFC fighter😂 pic.twitter.com/baTD0eKBSw
— T (@GManeValues) May 31, 2021
In any event, their meeting has been a long time coming, with Paul goading a number of UFC greats since seeing off Askren.
Winding up everyone from Daniel Cormier – whom he was caught up in a confrontation with at UFC 261 – to Woodley’s welterweight champion successor Kamara Usman and Conor McGregor, Paul seems to have settled on ‘The Chosen One’ and is already a betting favorite in the showdown.
Sharing footage of the Cormier incident, Woodley captioned it: “You already scared sh*tless. I don’t have to slap you. But the moment I walk away after I knock you out….The World will rejoice!”
Four days ago, he also uploaded a clip to his Instagram account that showed a wowed Paul meeting him in the past and claimed he has “[already] been a fan”.
“Sad he gotta get handled by his hero,” T-Wood signed off.
Ex-‘champ champ’ Cormier for one will be cheering him on, remarking previously “I don’t like the disrespect to someone like Tyron who has done so many great things. That kills me,” as Paul’s goading kicked off.
Jake Paul is in the building at #UFC261. Did you hear Daniel Cormier say on the broadcast that he'd "slap him in the face?"
Well, they had a confrontation. 😬
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) April 25, 2021
“Enjoy saying you are a fighter for another day,” Woodley said, to spark the feud following the Askren KO.
“Try that sh*t against me I’m catching a body Jake Paul.
“And you mob with hoes. I wouldn’t walk into a pillow fight with them.”