Youtube star Jake Paul has once again stolen the headlines after a memorable showdown with legendary heavyweight Daniel Cormier at UFC 261.
At an event in Florida that attracted 15,000 fans and widespread outrage, it was Paul that many fight fans were talking about during and after the spectacle.
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The popular internet star-turned boxer has a knack for drumming up publicity and it did't take long for the Youtuber to make his presence felt at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan was trying to work out what the crowd was chanting during Randy Brown's prelim bout against Alex Oliveira, before it eventually dawned on him that it was Paul - with cage-side seats next to NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown - who fight fans were targeting.
“I found out what the chant was. It was ‘F Jake Paul,'” Rogan said. “That’s what they were all yelling out. How’d that get started? I don’t know.”
Cormier - a UFC analyst with ESPN - bristled at the sound of Paul's name, before teeing off on the Youtube star during the broadcast.
“I swear to God, I just saw Jake Paul. I pointed at him and said, ‘Don’t play with me,’ because I’ll smack him in the face,” Cormier responded.
“He’s right there. I’ll slap him. I don’t play those games, Joe.”
Moments before, the former UFC heavyweight champion was captured on amateur footage waving his finger in Paul's face as the two shouted unpleasantries towards one another cage-side.
Paul and Cormier have history
The explosive showdown came after Paul attacked Cormier on his brother Logan's “IMPAULSIVE” podcast, following his recent boxing triumph over UFC fighter Ben Askren.
The victory took the younger Paul's career boxing record to 3-0, but the trash-talking 24-year-old took issue with Cormier's support of Askren before the fight.
“Shut the f*ck up, b*tch,” Paul said on the podcast.
“I’ll beat the f*ck out of your fat ass, too, just like Stipe did. Cleveland sh*t. I swear to God. I’ll beat the f*ck out of Daniel Cormier.”
Cormier had initially shrugged off the comments, insisting he was not interested in “punching down" someone like Paul.
“This dude would never fight me,” Cormier said on ESPN.
“I would kill him. Why would I ever fight someone like that?”
UFC president takes shot at Paul
UFC president Dana White also took aim at Paul after he claimed the Askren fight had 1.5 million pay-per-view buys and generated $75 million for streaming service, Triller.
White called out Paul and Triller after UFC 261, claiming they'd lied about the figures.
"The numbers are there? Nah. I don't know if the numbers are there," White said, via CBS Sports. "Do you know what would happen to this guy [in the UFC]? He ain't fighting in the UFC. He's getting hand-picked opponents, and God knows what else is going on with that whole f***ing thing.
"There is a market for that. That is not what I do. That's not what I do. People want to see that, and it's great, and this kid's going to make a couple bucks before this ride is over. It's just not what I do. What I do is what happened tonight. What happened tonight is, we sold this place out and it was packed, and the numbers that you're hearing [Triller] did, they're full of s***. They're full of s***. OK? They didn't pull those kind of numbers at all, not even f***ing close.”
Paul beat Askren via a first round knockout at the star-studded Triller Fight Club event in Atlanta the previous weekend.
The YouTube star is now a perfect 3-0 in his professional boxing career, with his first two wins coming against YouTuber AnEsonGib and former NBA player Nate Robinson.
In response to White’s comments about the PPV figures, Paul hit back in a scathing social media post of his own.
with Yahoo Sport US
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