While Paul has long looked to legitimize his place in the ring by adding the name of an established professional boxer to his record, a desire that may be granted should negotiations with Tommy Fury come together, it’s appeared that another mixed martial arts veteran has been the favorite to face “The Problem Child” next.
Diaz fought out his UFC contract this past September at UFC 279, with his official venture into free agency becoming official this week. Ever since his departure was confirmed, talk of a possible crossover clash with Paul has existed, and was accentuated by the Stockton native’s presence at the former Disney star’s latest event.
With that, many have labeled Diaz as a logical next rival for Paul, a sentiment he appeared to share given that he called the former UFC title challenger out after outpointing Anderson Silva in October.
However, Helwani has explained why it’s not in Diaz’s nature to follow the plan many are laying out for him.
Helwani Expects Diaz To “Zig” Away From Paul
Whilst speaking to guest Chael Sonnen during a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani provided his assessment of what might come next for Diaz.
But while the consensus involves a bout with Paul, Helwani senses that the Stockton fighter’s habit of moving away from what people expect him to do may be visible again, perhaps in the form of a matchup against Floyd Mayweather.
“I don’t sense a lot of momentum behind it right now,” Helwani said. “Floyd, I could see that one happening. Here’s the thing with Nate, just when everyone says Nate’s gonna do X, he always does Y, right? He doesn’t like to do what everyone thinks he should do, and so I think everyone thinks he should do the Jake Paul fight, but I think he’s gonna zig. He’s gonna zig when everyone thinks he’s gonna zag.”
While Paul has perhaps become the biggest name when it comes to the modern craze of crossover fights in the ring, legendary 50-0 boxer Mayweather has also remained active, facing the likes of Japanese MMA star Mikuru Asakura and British YouTuber Deji in 2022.
Although Helwani is leaning towards “Money” as Diaz’s likely boxing foe, Paul doesn’t appear to be giving up hope of securing his place opposite the Stockton star inside the ring.
What do you think the likelihood of Nate Diaz and Jake Paul meeting in the ring is?
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