“The Problem Child” last boxed in February when he was bested by Tommy Fury via split decision. Paul’s record, which boasts a decision victory against ex-UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva and two wins over former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, fell to 6-1.
Paul announced in January that he had signed on with the PFL as their Head of Fighter Advocacy. Further, The Problem Child revealed that the Smart Cage would be where he’d compete in his first MMA match. Fast forward a few months and that’s still Paul’s plan. Speaking with commentator Sean O’Connell during the PFL 2023 regular season broadcast Friday night, Paul said he planned to make his debut around the end of the year or at the “beginning of 2024.”
“I’m really excited,” The Problem Child said. “Even just watching the fights tonight has got me hyped up. I’ve been training jiu-jitsu a little bit and getting back to my wrestling roots. I grew up wrestling in Ohio — Division I — [I] have that background. So I really just have to focus on learning the kicks.
“So I need about a year or so, and then I’m gonna be ready. But, [I’m] excited to be doing it with the PFL. And hopefully, we can lock down a big name, because I want to challenge myself. People think I’m crazy, which I am, but I like doing things differently. And since the beginning of this whole like influencer boxing thing, I’ve always said that I wanted to do MMA. So for me, I’m excited to do it. And to be doing it at the PFL.”
Paul Is Eyeing a Boxing Match, But Unclear If It’ll Be a Rematch With Fury
Paul had a rematch clause built into his fight contract with Fury in case he lost. He ultimately dropped a decision to “TNT” but it’s unclear if he’ll exercise his right to an immediate second meeting. When O’Connell asked Paul what was next with his boxing career, Paul said he was in talks with “some really big names.”
“I’m revisiting the drawing board, going back to the basics, changing some things around with my team, and we’re assessing who it is that I’m gonna fight next,” Paul said. “There’s some really big names out there. We’re talking to multiple different teams, trying to make another massive fight. So stay tuned and hopefully, you’ll hear an announcement from me soon.”
Paul Hopes to Help MMA Fighters ‘Get a Payday Like They’ve Never Had Before
In a statement provided to Heavy after Paul’s PFL venture was announced, The Problem Child said his new role as Head of Fighter Advocacy would help increase MMA fighter pay industry-wide.
“Outside of the cage, equal fighter pay and advocating for female fighters has been my passion, and I am aligned with PFL to evolve the sport,” Paul said. “I believe in PFL, their mission, and what they have accomplished in a very short period of time.
“That is why I chose to partner with PFL exclusively, both as a fighter and a businessman. As Head of Fighter Advocacy, I will consistently promote PFL fighters and I invite all top MMA fighters, both men and women, to join the PFL and get a payday like they’ve never had before.”