Jake Paul Explains Why He Took Aim at Conor McGregor: 'I Wanted to Piss Him Off'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 27, 2021

Conor McGregor celebrates after defeating Donald
John Locher/Associated Press

American YouTuber, internet personality and aspiring professional boxer Jake Paul spoke with ESPN's Ariel Helwani about why he launched personal attacks against UFC fighter Conor McGregor in an Instagram video last December (1:25 mark).

"I wanted to piss him off. You know? I wanted to make a lot of noise, and I wanted it to become personal right away because I truly believe I can beat Conor McGregor. And people don't want to watch a fight where everyone's going in there being like, 'Hey, buddy, good luck tomorrow!'

"That's not the type of fighter I am. If we're going to go into a fight, no like, I'm going to destroy you, and anyone you're affiliated with is a part of the wrath and can be attacked.

"McGregor's done it. McGregor has attacked Khabib's wife, Khabib's religion, thrown chairs at people. Like, this is the fight business. If people are gonna get offended, then get the f--k over and choose a different sport. Go do gymnastics."

Paul notably disparaged McGregor's fiancee, Dee Devlin, with offensive remarks. He also accused McGregor of "ducking" him.

McGregor, who most recently lost to Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 main event on Saturday, does not have anything lined up with Paul currently. He has not spoken publicly on Paul's taunts but did call him a "confused little kid" to BT Sport.

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For now, Paul will fight UFC fighter Ben Askren in an eight-round boxing match on April 17. Askren is still under contract with the UFC but received permission to go forward with the bout.

"I know Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter," Askren said, per Helwani.

"I think on April 17 he is going to have a rude awakening to what being a fighter is really like. Jake has led a privileged life and doesn't really know what the meaning of being a fighter is. I'm going to put his dreams to an end."

Paul is 2-0 in his boxing career with wins over YouTuber AnEsonGib and former NBA player Nate Robinson.