Jake Paul Says 'Challenge Accepted' After Kamaru Usman Calls Him Out

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2021

Kamaru Usman celebrates his win atop the octagon fence after a UFC 261 mixed martial arts bout against Jorge Masvidal early Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Gary McCullough/Associated Press

Jake Paul is willing to step in the ring against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

Usman told TMZ Sports in a video published Tuesday he might like to "beat the s--t" out of "one of these internet guys" because he doesn't see any interesting challenges on the horizon in UFC. He didn't mention Paul by name, but the implication was clear. He went on to reference Daniel Cormier's confrontation with Paul at UFC 261 and said Cormier should "let me take care of that."

Paul said he'd be on board if UFC President Dana White signed off on the idea:

Jake Paul @jakepaul

Challenge accepted. @USMAN84kg if your boss Dana gives you permission to box me and make more money than you ever have, let me know and we can lace them up. I promise it will be your biggest pay day.

White worked with Mayweather Promotions for Conor McGregor's boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr., so it's possible he'd allow Usman to branch off for a one-off event with Paul. But White has expressed frustration with how the 24-year-old is going out of his way to challenge past and present UFC stars.

Setting up McGregor to oppose one of the greatest boxers of his generation is one thing. The former two-division champion's reputation was going to be fine no matter the result.

Were Usman to fight Paul and lose, UFC might see his drawing power take a hit. There would be no way for the promotion to positively spin that outcome.

Given the stakes, it's hard envisioning White giving his blessing to Paul's request.