Jake Paul Says He's 'A Lot Closer' to Fighting Conor McGregor Than People Think

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 15, 2021

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 23: (R-L) Conor McGregor of Ireland battles Dustin Poirier in a lightweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 23, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

American YouTuber and professional boxer Jake Paul told Damon Martin of MMA Fighting he believes a fight with former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor is "a lot closer ... than anyone thinks":

“I think we both are on a road to each other. He wants another boxing fight. He wants to fight Manny Pacquiao. He would get toasted. He just keeps on taking Ls. So I think him fighting me would not only be his money fight, but it would technically be the easiest challenge, right? Fighting Jake Paul would probably be easier than fighting Manny Pacquiao and it would be just as big.

“I think we’re a lot closer to a Jake Paul-Conor McGregor fight than anyone thinks. I think it could happen in the next 24 months.”

Paul is set to fight former UFC welterweight Ben Askren in a boxing match Saturday. McGregor will be fighting Dustin Poirier in a trilogy match July 10.

Paul has two professional fights under his belt, but neither was against a full-time fighter. He defeated YouTuber AnEsonGib and ex-NBA player Nate Robinson by knockout.

Askren will be his toughest test to date. He went 19-2 (with one no-contest) during his MMA career, winning the welterweight championships in Bellator and ONE. The ex-amateur wrestler also won a pair of NCAA Division I championships as well for Missouri.

As for McGregor, he's looking to avenge a second-round TKO loss to Poirier last January. McGregor, who is 22-5 lifetime, previously beat Poirier by first-round TKO in Sept. 2014.

Paul may be seeking a fight with McGregor, but he's rooting for the 32-year-old to take down the competition in July.

“Conor’s the big name,” Paul told Martin. “He’s a A-list celebrity, and there are very few fighters who are A-list celebrities. So we’ll see what happens. I hope he wins against Dustin, I guess, so that the fight becomes more exciting.”

But first, Paul is looking to take down Askren. Triller Fight Club will stream the Paul-Askren fight, which is set to take place Saturday around 9 p.m. ET.