PFL founder Donn Davis remains hopeful that the former UFC star steps up to fight Paul in the future, even if he’s not expecting it to happen anytime soon. Following the league’s recent acquisition of Bellator MMA, Davis appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss what other big moves lie ahead for his organization, including whether fans will ever see Diaz throw down with “The Problem Child.”
“One thing about Nate or fighters or entrepreneurs, they’re their own men,” Davis said. “They do what they want to do. Nate will do it when he wants to do it. So I’m just trying to create a canvas that we’re open for business. It’s like the old Motel 6, ‘We’ll Leave The Light On.’
“I just want to leave the light on and I want to say, ‘Here’s $15 million. Here’s Jake. We have all the infrastructure at PFL and we’re easy to work with.’ Dink. The light’s on.”
An MMA contest between Diaz and Paul has been in discussion for some time, with Paul challenging Diaz to meet him in the cage during the buildup to their Aug. 5 boxing match, which Paul went on to win by unanimous decision. Diaz never committed to the idea despite an eight-figure offer from Paul’s team, but the two have continued to trade verbal jabs over social media.
Davis sided with Paul, a PFL-contracted athlete, in a previous appearance on The MMA Hour, which apparently didn’t sit well with Diaz, who tweeted some unkind words about Davis and the league.
Im good I’d rather fight real fighters
And never back track to the minor leagues pussyFL
Fight urself dipshit
— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) November 3, 2023
Davis feels his comments may have been misconstrued.
“I think if [Diaz and his team] watch my entire comments they’d be less upset, which start with he’s the people’s champion, we respect Nate, he accepted that fight, the fans would love that fight and we would love to have him do that fight and we’re offering him more money than other people because that’s respect,” Davis said. “I think if they listened to the whole comments then they would be much more pleased than they were with the edited comments.”
Up next for Paul is not an a fight for the PFL, but another boxing match as he takes on Andre August on Dec. 15 in Orlando, Fla. August represents a departure for Paul who has previously competed against other athletes with large social media followings as well as former MMA stars.
Davis expects Paul to fight for the PFL in the fourth quarter of 2024 the earliest, citing Paul’s need to properly prepare for his MMA debut as the reason for the wait.
“Jake was always Q4, because for him to get good in his standards for an MMA fight that’s legitimate worthy, he says he needs that year,” Davis said. “He started training a month ago in the SmartCage, you know, down in his home, so I think that is October, December 2024.”