Jake Paul has his next opponent, and it's a good friend of his last one.
The YouTube star and former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley have agreed to deal for a boxing match, according to The Athletic's Mike Coppinger.
Paul is coming off a first-round knockout win against Ben Askren, another former UFC fighter. The fight was significantly one-sided, with Paul heavily out-striking the former Bellator champ. Woodley is well-aware of that fact, having been in Askren's corner for the fight.
Tyron Woodley steps in after friend Ben Askren
Askren and Woodley wrestled together at the University of Missouri, and have remained close friends since.
Paul currently holds a record of 3-0 in his career, with wins against a former UFC fighter, a former NBA player and a YouTuber, as well as an exhibition win over another YouTuber. In Woodley, Paul is getting an opponent who has a resume similar to Askren, a former wrestling champion without much boxing experience facing a significant downturn in his career.
Once the UFC's welterweight champ with multiple title defenses to his name, Woodley lost his belt to current champ Kamaru Usman in March 2019. Woodley has not won a fight since, falling to Gilbert Burns Colby Covington and Vicente Luque in succession.
Woodley's contract with the UFC has since expired, making him free for what should be a lucrative bout with Paul.
Woodley previously spoke about his expectations for the Askren fight, and it's not hard to see this as an indication for how he expects himself to fare:
"[Paul] thought he picked Ben because Ben wasn't really known for his striking prowess in MMA as more for his grinding, his cardio, his ability to submission, his ground and pound, his wrestling, his aggressiveness. He wasn't really known for the boxing aspect of the sport. So, he [Jake Paul] probably thought it was an easy pick to go get that fight. But Ben's Ben, swung at by all the world champion boxers and kickboxers.
"He has sparred with those guys, he has been at the highest level. He has been with the guys that are Olympians, he has been with the NCAA champions, he has been with the top of the top, fighting against the world champions and been a world champion. So, you can't compare that experience. You can't compare the ability to be calm in a storm at a big, big, big event."
The fight will likely be the first in Paul's new deal with Showtime Boxing, which signed Paul to a multi-fight deal earlier this month.
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