Jake Paul Signs With PFL Ahead Of Planned 2023 Debut

Jake Paul‘s prominence in combat sports is set to continue after he put pen to paper on a multi-year deal with a major mixed martial arts promotion.

While he’s made his way to the forefront of boxing, Paul has consistently teased a future venture into the cage. And having amassed an unblemished 6-0 professional record as a pugilist, it appears the time for “The Problem Child” to spread his combat wings has come.

On Thursday, the New York Times confirmed that Paul has signed a deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL). While the rising promotion, known as World Series of Fighting (WSOF) prior to a 2017 reconstruction, has become renowned for its season and playoff format, 2023 will see it introduce a new division.

As appears to be the case for multi-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison, Paul will compete in the Super Fight class, which will see bouts air on pay-per-view. The YouTuber-turned-boxer is expected to debut inside the cage later this year.

The report also revealed that Paul and his business partner Nakisa Bidarian, a former UFC executive, now own an equity share of the PFL.

Paul Plans To ‘Change’ MMA With PFL Signing

The report states that, as well as fulfilling a fighter role in the Super Fight division, Paul will take up the status of “head of fighter advocacy,” thought to involve the promotion of the organization and its events on social media.

The PFL’s newly created Super Fight division will see athletes earn at least 50% of the revenue gained from PPV events on ESPN and DAZN. Paul has frequently campaigned for a higher rate of revenue to be handed down to UFC fighters.

The NY Times quoted Paul as saying that the new league is about taking the sport of mixed martial arts to the next level.

“This is about changing MMA, disrupting, innovating, and creating the next big league,” Paul said.

As well as MMA stars like Harrison, the PFL’s Super Fight division is also expected to include bouts involving celebrities and influencers, a crossover trend that has reached fever pitch in recent years.

The move is perhaps a surprising one for Paul given his success inside the ring, where he most keenly outpointed MMA legend Anderson Silva. The 25-year-old also recently suggested that his seventh professional boxing match is likely for the first quarter of 2023.

However, given his continued push for improved contractual conditions for UFC roster members and desire to create a fighters’ union, it’s perhaps expected that Paul’s venture into MMA comes in the form of a league where revenue sharing will be significantly more profitable for fighters.

Paul also won’t mark the first athlete to compete in both pro boxing and MMA under the PFL banner. Claressa Shields, widely regarded as the greatest female pugilist of all time, has competed in the promotion’s SmartCage twice, going 1-1.

What do you make of Jake Paul’s decision to sign with the Professional Fighters League?

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