Jake Paul will make his MMA debut with the PFL in 2023.
Paul has signed a multifight contract with the promotion and will compete in a new division, known as Super Fight, with events on pay-per-view. No matchups have been lined up for the YouTube-star-turned-boxer, who intends to compete in both boxing and MMA this year.
Paul confirmed that he’s joined the PFL in an interview with the New York Times, which was first to report the news Thursday.
“This is about changing MMA, disrupting, innovating, and creating the next big league,” said Paul, who later announced the move in a video posted on his you social media platforms.
“I’ve already disrupted boxing, and now it’s time to disrupt MMA,” Paul added. “I know this is such a tough sport, and it’s not going to be easy, but if I could do it in boxing, I could do it in MMA.”
In the Super Fight division, fighters are expected to earn at least 50 percent of the pay-per-view revenue, with bouts distributed by both ESPN and DAZN, according to the New York Times report. Paul has been a heavy advocate for fighter pay, constantly taking aim at Dana White and the UFC for not giving fighters a sufficient share of its revenue and sales from pay-per-view.
Paul has teased starting a fighters union, and he and business partner Nakisa Bidarian, the former chief financial officer for the UFC, reportedly now own equity in the PFL. Paul’s role has been officially dubbed “Head of Fighter Advocacy,” in which he’ll be posting about the PFL on social media.
Paul was last seen in action when he defeated UFC legend Anderson Silva by unanimous decision in an October boxing match at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Ariz., scoring a knockdown in Round 8 to secure the win. The 25-year-old is 6-0 as a professional boxer.
MMA Junkie’s request for additional comment from Paul and Bidarian on the PFL signing was not immediately returned.