Jake Paul Signs With Professional Fighters League Ahead of MMA Debut

Jake Paul

Getty Jake Paul

Social media sensation Jake Paul will make his mixed martial arts debut under the Professional Fighters League banner, according to a statement from PFL provided to Heavy.

“The Problem Child” boasts an undefeated boxing record of 6-0, which includes wins over the likes of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, two against ex-welterweight king Tyron Woodley and former Bellator and ONE 170-pound champion Ben Askren.

PFL announced on Thursday that they, along with Paul, had created the “PFL PPV Super Fights” division. Fighters who compete on upcoming pay-per-view cards will receive “50% of the revenue” generated from the events, according to PFL.

Not only will Paul fight in MMA during one of the PFL PPV Super Fights events, but he’s also been appointed Head of Fighter Advocacy. Paul has been vocal about his mission to increase fighter pay within mixed martial arts, and PFL said he’ll “continue to work towards a business model that benefits all top fighters” within the new role.

Per the statement, there will be two PFL PPV Super Fights in 2023 with plans to increase the number of events in the following years. Most notably, PFL also gave boxing great Claressa Shields the platform to make her MMA debut. She went 1-1 in the promotion in 2021.

Paul Is Dedicated to Making His MMA Debut While Also Making a ‘Positive Impact’ on the Sport

Paul’s first time fighting as a mixed martial artist will be inside the PFL cage, Paul said in the statement. And besides fighting, he plans on making a “positive impact” on the sport by using his platform and resources to increase fighter pay and benefits.

“I’ve proven myself in and out of the boxing ring and now I am going to do the same in MMA, and there is no limit to the positive impact I can make on the sport,” Paul said. “I plan to enter the PFL SmartCage and once again show the world that anything is possible with hard work and dedication. 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. 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.”

PFL Executives Chime in on Paul’s Signing

PFL CEO Pete Murray pointed to Paul being an instrumental part of spearheading the promotion’s “fighter-first culture.”

“Jake Paul begins his journey to fight in MMA today by signing exclusively with the PFL for our global capabilities, innovative platform, and fighters-first culture,” Murray said in the statement. “PFL built a great roster of world-ranked fighters for our PFL League, and PFL is now open for business to partner with the best MMA PPV fighters on the planet to be part of our new PFL PPV Super Fight Division.”

PFL founder and chairman Donn Davis said: “I founded PFL to innovate, professionalize, and grow MMA, and we have done that with our disruptive sport-season format which put “fighters-first” as they control their own destiny. Today, we begin our next phase of growth by disrupting the MMA pay-per-view market, with an unprecedented new model where fighters will be true 50-50 economic partners in PPV revenues. I’m gratified that Jake and Nakisa (Bidarian) chose to join PFL, and I can’t wait to see what Jake does as a fighter, creator, and promoter in MMA with PFL.”

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