UFC's Uriah Hall, Ex-NBA Player Kendall Gill Call out Jake Paul After Askren TKO

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 22, 2021

Jason Medina, right, stumbles after taking a punch to the head from Kendall Gill during the third round of cruiserweight action Saturday, Aug. 20, 2005 in Rosemont, Ill.. Gill defeated Medina in a unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The financial and mainstream success of Jake Paul's boxing career appears to have caught the attention of some notable fighters who have very different takes on what the controversial YouTube star's transition to the sport means.   

UFC middleweight star Uriah Hall discussed Paul's approach to the business of combat sports before explaining what would happen if the two were to ever square off. 

"I say I'm going to knock you the f--k out and thank you for the opportunity," Hall told reporters during the UFC 261 media day on Wednesday. "Cause we all know I would kill him. I would tell you, bro. I will literally beat you with one hand. You don't deserve my right hand. I'll do it for free. That's how confident I am."

Hall also made a point of noting that he's "working my ass off" to be great and successful in this sport, while Paul "comes out there, says a couple [of things] and I know what he's doing" to get attention for his fights. 

In addition to Hall's comments, former NBA player Kendall Gill told MMA Fighting's Damon Martin he would like the opportunity to step into the boxing ring with Paul. 

"I had so many NBA players contacting me 'we know you're a boxer, we know you're 4-0, please go back and avenge Nate Robinson,' and that's why I called him out. He should accept the challenge. I'm 4-0, he's 3-0. Let's put our undefeated records on the line.

"It will sell bigger than the Ben Askren fight because I've already had Shaquille O'Neal speak on the fight saying he'll back me. He'll bet money on me for the fight. Dame Lillard posted about me, Isaiah Thomas, all these guys, and that's three Hall of Famers now in the NBA. That's a huge following."

Gill issued a challenge to Paul on Saturday in the aftermath of Paul's first-round TKO win over Ben Askren. The 15-year NBA veteran transitioned to boxing after retiring from basketball. He went 4-0 with three wins by TKO, but he hasn't had a professional fight since 2010. 

Paul has won each of his first three boxing matches by knockout or TKO. He defeated fellow YouTube personality AnEnsonGib, former NBA player Nate Robinson and Askren. 

The fight with Askren on Saturday night was an incredible financial success, with Martin reporting it likely  generated between 1.2 and 1.6 million pay-per-view buys.