Jake Paul has been teasing a transition to MMA, which he recently stated would include training with AKA.
Jake Paul has taken the world of boxing by storm. He burst onto the scene and began to dismantle former UFC fighters one by one. Now, he is teasing a transition to MMA to continue his rise in combat sports.
Recently, he teased that he will be joining the top MMA gym American Kickboxing Academy (AKA). This is the home gym for UFC greats Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier, and Cain Velasquez. Head coach of AKA Javier Mendez addressed this rumor of Paul joining the team in an interview with The Schmo.
“It could happen. But like anybody, we have to go through all the coaches and all the fighters that are here,” Mendez explained. “And anybody that’s a famous athlete like him, they would go through the routine that everybody does. So he would have to get voted by everybody—not everybody. If there’s one person in particular that doesn’t want him here for that particular reason, he can’t be here.”
Although Mendez is impressed with what Paul has been able to do so far in the boxing world, that doesn’t mean he will have the same effect in MMA. AKA has been the home to many top-ranked UFC fighters over the years but the addition of Paul could make some new waves for the gym. Mendez likes the fire Paul has lit for himself so far but says there have yet to be any actual discussions of Paul joining the team.
“First of all, he’s never asked. What he’s done is he’s marketed himself out there beautifully,” Mendez said. “I love the plug he gave us. I think it was a fantastic plug, and I think he is a fantastic person, and I think that he markets himself fantastic. I love what he does. He creates interest. How could you not like a guy who creates interest?”
Although there seems to be some level of interest from both parties, the deal to have Paul join the likes of Nurmagmoedov is far from set. Paul was involved with a public spat with AKA alum Daniel Cormier last year. The animosity between these two could be one thing that prevents the YouTuber from joining the AKA ranks, as everyone at AKA would have to sign off on his membership.
“I sent him a text of encouragement, a heartfelt message. I felt it was the right type of message to send because it was legit,” Mendez said. “And he, in turn, returned the favor by talking about training with us. But the reality is that no matter who you are, it could be the greatest fighter whatever you still have to go through the team to consent to train with us.”
Would you like to see Paul join AKA and begin his MMA career under Mendez and Nurmagomedov?