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The Future of His Boxing Career Rests on This Bout: A Look into the Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz Faceoff

Emerging from one of the six opulent rooms in a sprawling villa situated with a spectacular view of the upscale Bel-Air Country Club, Nate Diaz descends a spiral staircase.

Sporting a Mike Tyson tee, worn jeans and black Nike Air Jordan shoes by Travis Scott, Diaz debates his look with his team, including Zach Rosenfield, the president of Real Fight Inc., and Elijah Gutierrez, his cinematographer. Eventually deciding against a black baseball cap and Ray-Ban sunglasses, Diaz makes his way to the stone patio of the rented mansion in the hills, where he settles into a chair for a video interview. The serene view from the balcony includes a luxurious pool with a miniature waterfall, a hot tub, and an extensive golf course.

His first fight in 17 years outside the UFC, a boxing match against Jake Paul - a well-known YouTuber-turned-professional-boxer - is only three weeks away. The two men are equal partners in the pay-per-view event. Paul had expressed dissatisfaction with Diaz's promotional efforts for the fight, criticizing the lack of confrontational talk.

This interview was Diaz's opportunity to fire back, to instigate a verbal feud to boost the event's sales. However, Diaz declined to play along.

"I think my fights over the years promote themselves," Diaz told ESPN. "I'm not going to engage in a juvenile dispute and act as though it's any more legitimate than it is. The situation can't get any more real. If we're going to quarrel, let's fight."

Diaz, an MMA superstar, is known for doing things his way. Unaffected by outside pressure, he might have still been in the UFC, much like Paul, who has been disrupting boxing for the past three years, hosting major events outside the traditional promotional structure. They are, in many ways, cut from the same cloth – Diaz, the rugged fighter from Stockton, and Paul, the ex-Disney Channel kid – finding in each other the ideal adversary for this critical juncture in their respective careers.

Jake Paul (Right) facing off with Nate Diaz (Left)
Jake Paul (Right) facing off with Nate Diaz (Left)

However, this realization took time. With potential fights against Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul (Jake's brother) for Diaz and Mayweather, KSI (another YouTuber-turned-prizefighter), and a rematch with Tommy Fury for Paul on the cards, it ultimately boiled down to their personal history and other factors, which led to the Paul vs. Diaz decision.

This crossover boxing match, a genre pioneered by Paul, set for August 5 in Dallas, is the highest-stakes match yet. The outcome of this face-off could significantly alter both fighters' future and the current trend of influencers in combat sports. Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of Paul's Most Valuable Promotions, believes this could mark Paul's final boxing match.

"He may retire if he loses to Nate Diaz," Bidarian told ESPN.

The story of how this fight came to be involves a series of negotiations and deals with other fighters, including Mayweather and Paul's brother Logan. The turning point came when Rosenfield, Diaz's manager, realized the potential of a face-off between Diaz and Paul after watching an interview with actor and comedian Michael Rapaport. The rest, as they say, is history, with the fight officially announced on April 12.

While Diaz has stated he only wants to fight winners, he saw parallels to his own UFC losses in Paul's defeat to Fury. "Jake's doing the biggest things. I believe he's the tougher brother. He's the one who's been boxing more people and at a higher level. He's motivated, hungry, and moving forward. And I'm on the same page as that," Diaz said.

As Paul's boxing career hangs in the balance, a defeat could alter its trajectory. However, if Paul defeats Diaz, he hopes to draw him into an MMA fight in the PFL, with a potential $10 million offer for Diaz on the table.

While Diaz's legendary status in combat sports is secure, a win or loss here could affect his future negotiation power and the potential for a third fight with McGregor. "Everything changes with every fight," Diaz said.

Regardless of the outcome, this event promises a lucrative payout for both fighters, with each set to make well into eight figures, according to Rosenfield. This includes a cut from pay-per-view buys, ticket sales, and merchandise, aside from the event sponsors. The stakes are high as fans worldwide await this epic showdown. additional earnings from their respective personal sponsors. The fight promises significant financial gains for both fighters.

A career-defining match, Nate Diaz vs. Jake Paul, is on the horizon. They're now in the final stages of their training, each putting his reputation on the line.

Diaz, a renowned MMA superstar, is known for playing by his rules. Similarly, Paul has been causing ripples in the boxing world for the past three years, bringing a fresh spin to major events. Now, the two of them are about to cross paths, and this collision could reshape the future of both fighters and the sport.

In the ever-evolving realm of crossover boxing, which Jake Paul has significantly shaped, their match on Aug. 5 in Dallas promises to be the most consequential yet. The outcome of this fight could be a pivotal moment in their respective careers and in the trending phenomenon of social media influencers venturing into combat sports.

Nakisa Bidarian, the co-founder of Paul's Most Valuable Promotions, voiced the gravity of this matchup. He told ESPN that this could possibly be the last time we see Jake Paul in the ring if he loses to Nate Diaz.

There's a dramatic backstory to how this match was agreed upon. Both fighters had other potential matches on the table: Diaz with Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul, Jake Paul's brother, and Jake Paul with Mayweather, fellow YouTube personality KSI, and a rematch with Tommy Fury. But a combination of different factors, not least their fiery history, led Diaz and Paul to choose each other.

While this fight could potentially put an end to Jake Paul's boxing career, it could also boost Nate Diaz's standing in the combat sports world. A win against Paul could amplify the prospect of a trilogy with McGregor, along with several other fights. Conversely, a loss could dent Diaz's leverage in future negotiations.

Besides the stakes for Diaz, Jake Paul has his eyes set on a bigger prize. If Paul triumphs over Diaz, he aims to draw him into an MMA fight in PFL, an organization Paul has partnered with for a potential future in MMA. Diaz has not ruled out this possibility.

But for now, their focus is on the imminent fight that is predicted to earn both men "well into the eight figures," according to Rosenfield, with additional earnings from pay-per-view purchases, ticket sales, merchandise, and personal sponsorships.

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