The biggest trash talkers in combat sports could one day meet. We’re talking about the former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor fighting YouTuber-turned-boxing-sensation Jake Paul. You can bet online on it although the odds indicate this bout is not happening anytime soon … at least not in 2022. But never say never.
Why Conor McGregor and Jake Paul Will Fight
There are a lot of reasons why McGregor and Paul will fight but the most obvious is … money. McGregor, despite not having won one fight in the last six years, is still a big box-office draw. His two bouts with Dustin Poirier both drew North of 1.5 million Pay-Per-View buys each.
Paul, on the other hand, has fizzled as a box office draw. His rematch against Tyron Woodley drew around 200,000 PPV buys, a fraction of what he did against Ben Askren: 1.5 million. While his first bout with Woodley was a snoozer, Paul knocked Woodley out, in what was the most popular KO of 2021.
Footage of the Jake Paul KO over Tyron Woodley 👀 pic.twitter.com/TtRb66Rx5L
— Dexerto (@Dexerto) December 19, 2021
Either way, both will sell a lot of tickets and PPVs. That’s why Paul’s team had already contacted McGregor’s team about a potential fight as far back as 2020.
Maybe the mystique has faded a little thanks to McGregor’s consecutive losses. But he’s still considered a top fighter while Paul is still seen as a celebrity boxer despite his wins. The bout should favor McGregor slightly on the boxing betting odds if it is a boxing bout. If it’s an MMA bout, unlikely as the odds indicate, then McGregor will be a massive favorite.
Will McGregor and Paul Fight in 2022?
The short answer: no. Or rather, highly unlikely as the -400 betting line on the sportsbook indicates. For one, Dana White and the UFC will need to be involved and he’s already put down any talks of McGregor rematching against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Their first bout was the second-highest selling PPV so if White is out on the rematch then what more for this one?
Secondly, White is not on the best terms with Paul. The latter has constantly called Whiteout mostly about fighter pay. White detests Paul and even if he’s willing to put differences aside for the sake of business, he won’t be as receptive to any pitch coming out of Paul’s camp.
Last but not least, if this fight does happen, there is no guarantee they can book it before the year ends. Fight agreements fall through all the time. Cancellations happen and so do postponements, especially during the time of COVID.
The UFC would also want more time to market this event. They did a world tour co-marketing “The Money Fight.” While they likely won’t be doing that for this event, the promotion would want ample time to build up the fight McGregor is also at his lowest point as a fighter. Setting him up with “winnable” fights could boost his stock and make this bout more enticing.
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On Paul’s end, he needs to beat Hasim Rahman Jr. on August 6 He’s favored to, but anything less than a clear-cut win would only diminish his star.