Monday, November 28, 2022

Jake Paul to Kamaru Usman: “Challenge Accepted”

The UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman may have just entered the Jake Paul sweepstakes, and Paul was quick to act.

Like it or not, Jake Paul is the most talked about personality in the MMA world right now. After knocking out Ben Askren, his momentum continues to rise and the names of potential opponents continue to pile up. But who would have thought we would be sitting here and talking about the #2-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC expressing interest in fighting Jake Paul? That may have been exactly what happened in a recent interview between Kamaru Usman and TMZ.

Usman began by once again voicing his frustration with the lack of activity in the UFC’s welterweight division while hinting at fighting Jake Paul.

“Let’s be honest. I’m the most active guy in the division, and I’m the champion,” Usman said. “In my last four fights, three of them (were) KOs. And so I mean, these guys are kinda sitting around and waiting for me to pick them just so they can get a payday. I think it’s time for them to show me something. Get me motivated again.

Kamaru Usman Colby Covington
Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

“So I could fight two more times this year, but none of these guys are showing me anything. These guys are basically sitting around waiting for me to call their number and do what I’ve done to them already. And so if these guys don’t show me anything, then maybe I’ll go pull out one of these guys who think they can box, one of these Internet guys, and beat the shit out of them.”

Jake Paul Accepts Kamaru Usman’s “Challenge”

At UFC 261, prior to Usman knocking out Jorge Masvidal to retain his welterweight title, Daniel Cormier left the commentator’s table to accost Jake Paul in a hostile manner. Cormier confessed that he was tempted to lay hands on Paul right then and there but refrained from doing so because he was at work. When Jake Paul’s name was directly brought up to Usman regarding the YouTuber’s recent feud with Cormier, the welterweight champion had an interesting solution to their quarrel. 

“I think it’s great for Jake Paul because now, we’re having to sit here and have another conversation about him. So it’s great. What he’s doing is working. But at the end of the day, with DC, like, that’s DC. DC definitely loves his ESPN job, that’s why he didn’t smack him. Because if he didn’t care about that job, he would’ve slapped him.

“At the end of the day, that’s Daniel Cormier, one of the best to do this. And Jake Paul needs to put some respect on his name when he even speaks about DC. They’re not even in the same realm. And so that’s not something that I would even entertain. I wouldn’t even allow DC to even entertain that. DC, sit down, let me take care of that for you. Let me take care of that.”

These remarks could very easily be interpreted as Usman expressing a willingness to box Jake Paul instead of having Cormier degrade himself by accepting such an undertaking. However, the champ may also simply be referring to “taking care” of Paul in terms of an altercation outside of a professional environment. In other words, instead of Cormier slapping Jake Paul and losing his job, Usman would confront Jake Paul for him and “take care” of the situation. 

Jake Paul did not give Usman’s comments that much critical thinking but instead immediately jumped at the first interpretation and accepted the “challenge.”

“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.”

Even if Usman was actually challenging Jake Paul, Dana White has already made it clear that he wants nothing to do with Paul and his “freak show” of a circus. So unlike with MayMac, it wouldn’t be wise to start waiting for any “breaking news” on this one.

UPDATE: Kamaru Usman has come forward to express that he has no interest in “play fighting” Jake Paul.