Controversial Star Backed to Be Jake Paul’s First MMA Fight

Jake Paul

Getty Jake Paul

Boxer and social media star Jake Paul recently teased his plan to move into mixed martial arts, and Chael Sonnen thinks Dillon Danis is the perfect first opponent for “The Problem Child.”

Paul (5-0 boxing) is set to take on former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva inside the ring on October 29 via Showtime PPV. And during a recent episode of “BS w/ Jake Paul,” The Problem Child revealed that he would announce something “soon” pertaining to a venture into MMA as a fighter.

“I’ve got an announcement coming soon – I can just tease that,” Paul said (h/t MMA Junkie). “I’m working with a big organization right now on a whole thing in MMA that also has to do with me fighting, and we’re going to have an announcement soon.”

Paul also revealed that he would work with American Kickboxing Academy’s Javier Mendez to prepare for his debut.

“I want to do it, and Javier Mendez said he would train me,” Paul said. “I’ll go to (American Kickboxing Academy). I probably need a year, year and a half, to get the kicks down. I already know jiu-jitsu. I want to be able to do everything in there – at least checking kicks. I know how to wrestle already.”


Sonnen Thinks Danis Is the Fight to Make for Paul

Danis (2-0 MMA) is best known as Conor McGregor’s training partner and his credentials as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. He is currently under contract with Bellator MMA, however “El Jefe” hasn’t fought inside the cage since his armbar victory over Max Humphrey in June 2019.

Danis is well known in the MMA community for his online trolling antics, and he’s gotten into it with Paul on several occasions. The Problem Child also famously threw toilet paper rolls at Danis in 2020 while El Jefe was filming a “Food Truck Diaries” interview outside.

Considering their history and both being under contract with Showtime, Sonnen said in a recent YouTube video that it was the fight to make for Paul’s first MMA match.

“(Paul) does his boxing in Showtime,” Sonnen said (h/t MMA News). “Showtime hosts Bellator. It’s the same people. The same people Jake is working with, for marketing, for PR, for production with boxing, are the same folks at Showtime that also represent Bellator,” Sonnen said.

“Not to mention, the perfect opponent right now, for Jake, is Dillon Danis who is under contract with Bellator, so that would be a strong leading candidate.”

Danis has suffered from multiple knee injuries in the past few years and it’s unclear when El Jefe will fight again.


Scott Coker Is Open to Signing Paul, Ready to Offer Danis a Fight

Bellator president Scott Coker has confirmed on multiple occasions that he is interested in signing Paul. And for Danis, Coker is still waiting to hear back from him in regards to his next bout.

“Dillon is a kid we had a lot of high hopes for,” Coker told the media at the Bellator 285 post-fight press conference last month (h/t MMA Fighting).

“He’s super-talented, jiu-jitsu fighter, but he’s got to stay active, and he’s got to want to come back,” Coker continued. “He calls me, he wants to come back, and then sometimes, I don’t hear from him for months. If he’s really serious about coming back, we’ll definitely have a spot for him, and we’ll definitely make an opportunity for him.”

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