Last weekend, Paul appeared inside the ring for the sixth time as a professional. With matchups against Tommy Fury and Hasim Rahman Jr. falling through in the summer, the former Disney figure’s outing in Arizona marked his first since December 21.
It also represented a return to bookings against MMA veterans. In his prior three fights, Paul shared the ring once with Ben Askren and twice with Tyron Woodley, recording knockout wins over both former champions.
While he didn’t secure the same method of victory in his latest test, Paul’s unanimous decision triumph over MMA GOAT contender Anderson Silva was still no doubt his biggest scalp to date since venturing into the sport.
Ahead of the contest, Paul expressed high hopes for the Showtime pay-per-view event, which also saw former UFC middleweight Uriah Hall in action.
While he noted that he’d be pleased to match the number attracted by his first match with Woodley (500,000), he expressed confidence that his collision with Silva had the potential to draw upwards of 600,000 buys.
Unfortunately for the Cleveland native, the event doesn’t appear to have come close to that figure. During a recent episode of the IMPAULSIVE podcast, Paul estimated that the tally will reach between 200,000 and 300,000 buys.
“The pre-buys were going crazy, up, up, up. And then Wednesday, when the news came out about Anderson saying he got knocked out or whatever, and the fight was in jeopardy and all this press came out, the pre-buys tanked all the way down,” Paul revealed. “The general public sees that and is like, ‘Oh it’s not happening. Tommy pulled out, Hasim pulled out, Jake fucking Paul can’t get another event together, this is done.’ It killed ticket sales… everything went to zero… I think it will probably go around 200,000 to 300,000, which is kind of upsetting.”
Sonnen Reacts To Paul’s PPV Admission
During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, former two-division UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen discussed the latest crossover fight, which he branded the “best boxing match” he’s ever seen.
“The American Gangster” noted that Paul’s explanation for the disappointing PPV number, which also included competition from other sports, makes sense. And with that, Sonnen believes Paul has gained credibility by being open and honest about the outcome, especially in an environment where he wasn’t forced to be.
“Jake came out and he told the world. This is a great marketer. You gotta understand from this stand point, this is a very intelligent marketer,” Sonnen said. “He came out and he told the world his personal business, and it wasn’t to brag. As a matter of fact, it was negative. The second time that he’s done this. Tyron Woodley (rematch) did 68,000 buys… but I got this number from Jake. And he stated why, said what was his deduction of the reason for that… there wasn’t even a build for it. Jake talked about that.
“I believe him and I think that makes sense. But moreover, he has credibility with me because he just told me the truth about the butyrate that was negative… This situation with Anderson, very smart marketing guy in Jake Paul who was not pressured or caught off guard. In fact, he was on a show that was friendly, hosted by his brother. He comes out and tells us about the business side… He said it didn’t go well.”
Having vowed to stage events in the summer moving forward in order to capitalize on the absence of other major sports, Paul will be on the hunt for an opponent who can help him surpass the number of PPV buys he achieved alongside Silva.
By all accounts, that man appears likely to be Nate Diaz.
Having fought out his UFC contract, talk of the Stockton native venturing into the ring has picked up in recent times. And at the Desert Diamond Arena on October 29, Diaz was not only the subject of a post-fight callout from Paul, but also clashed physically with a member of the online star’s team backstage.
Do you agree with Chael Sonnen?
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