This past weekend, Paul entered the ring for the first time in 2022, having broken onto the combat sports scene with 2021 wins over former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder Ben Askren and former UFC champion Tyron Woodley.
After seeing matches against a pair of professional boxers in Tommy Fury and Hasim Rahman Jr. fall through, Paul returned to his conquest of MMA veterans by facing Anderson Silva.
In a Showtime pay-per-view headliner on Saturday, Paul defeated “The Spider” on the scorecards after eight rounds of action, moving his unblemished pro record to 6-0 in the process.
One man who had a front-row view of the action was rising MMA star O’Malley, who was in attendance inside Glendale’s Desert Diamond Arena for Paul’s biggest triumph inside the ring to date.
Having witnessed Paul’s continued rise in the sport of boxing, “Sugar” has outlined which challenge he’d like to see “The Problem Child” take up next.
O’Malley: “Paul Versus Diaz Is The Biggest Fight”
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, O’Malley was asked for his take on one of the main talking points from Saturday’s event — who’s next for Paul?
While the #1-ranked UFC bantamweight acknowledged the former Disney star’s desire to further legitimize his boxing venture by adding the name of a seasoned pro to his résumé, O’Malley advised Paul to secure the biggest fights.
And for the Montana native, that would mean a matchup with one of the most notable names to emerge from mixed martial arts.
“I always wanna see the biggest fights. Jake Paul versus Nate Diaz is the biggest fight. That’s what I would like to see,” O’Malley said. “I think Jake wants to be taken more serious and fight a real boxer boxer, and go after a belt, but I think he might as well fight Nate Diaz.”
Even prior to his UFC exit, which came after he fought out his contract at UFC 279 in September, Diaz had teased a possible showdown with Paul. And at this past weekend’s event, the Stockton native even appeared to come to blows with a member of the Cleveland native’s team backstage.
But despite that seemingly laying the groundwork for a possible collision in the ring, O’Malley questioned whether Diaz would want to face Paul given how he performed against Silva.
“I don’t know if Nate takes that fight. Nate might have seen — Jake looked good. It’s not like Nate probably looked at him and thought, ‘I can go in there and whoop him.’ So that might be a fight that Nate doesn’t even really take,” O’Malley suggested.
While he avoided giving a firm prediction should the bout come to fruition, “Sugar” did make note of Paul’s latest victory when assessing his chances against the former UFC star.
“There’s only one way to see it. If you asked me if Jake beats Anderson, I’d have said the same thing. There’s only one way to know, they gotta go out there and fight,” O’Malley stated. “I don’t know if Jake beats Nate. What he showed versus Anderson, I would say there’s a very good chance. I think it would be an epic fight.”
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