Home News Jake Paul beats UFC legend Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in Dallas...

Jake Paul beats UFC legend Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in Dallas boxing showdown as YouTube star-turned-superstar fighter knocks down his opponent in the fifth to bounce back from Tommy Fury loss

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Nate Diaz had the crowd. He just never had the judges, who awarded Jake Paul a hard-fought unanimous-decision win in Dallas on Saturday night.

In what was an obvious choice to anyone but the throngs of disappointed Diaz fans, Paul’s 10-round effort was too much to ignore. 

He not only knocked down the UFC legend in the fifth, but was easily better in all but one or two rounds as he bounced back from his first professional defeat to Tommy Fury, whom he mentioned as a potential future opponent afterwards.

The three judges scored this fight 97-92, 98-91, and 98-91. 

For Paul, whose status as a social media influencer was mentioned by ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. before the fight, there is always a question of legitimacy as a boxer.

Jake Paul celebrates his victory over Nate Diaz at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas after going the full distance

Jake Paul celebrates his victory over Nate Diaz at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas after going the full distance

Paul (left) knocks down crowd favorite Diaz in the fifth round after starting the fight fast - ultimately convincing the judges

Paul (left) knocks down crowd favorite Diaz in the fifth round after starting the fight fast – ultimately convincing the judges

Paul lands a left jab on his rival, which sent him to the canvas - but he managed to get back up and see out the contest

Paul lands a left jab on his rival, which sent him to the canvas – but he managed to get back up and see out the contest

Diaz impressed the crowd by recovering from his knock-down but it wasn't enough to win - with all three judges favoring Paul

Diaz impressed the crowd by recovering from his knock-down but it wasn’t enough to win – with all three judges favoring Paul

But on Saturday in Dallas, Paul was favored for a reason: His seven career fights compared to zero from Diaz. 

Diaz’s MMA background was hard to ignore. Even the Stockton, California native joked afterwards about getting Paul in a ‘chokehold’ briefly in the ninth. 

Understandably, Diaz looked like the novice in the first round. Paul rushed out of his corner, pushed the action, and dictated the first three minutes entirely.

Given the southpaw-orthodox matchup, there were a few awkward entanglements early. But that ugliness aside, Paul looked like the real boxer in the first while Diaz was trying to get his bearings.

But Diaz — who had the support of the UFC-centric crowd throughout the fight — came alive in the second. 

By the third, he and Paul were about equal in punches landed, and Diaz absolutely won the fourth, landing 20 power punches to Paul’s 13, according to CompuBox.

Diaz, though, appeared grow tired in the fifth, which is when Paul scored a relatively easy knockdown with a strong left hook.

And fatigue was to be expected for someone who competes in MMA at around 170 pounds. 

Paul climbs the ropes to celebrate in front of a crowd that booed him throughout the night and were supporting Diaz

Paul climbs the ropes to celebrate in front of a crowd that booed him throughout the night and were supporting Diaz 

Diaz heads back to his corner disappointed after all three judges called the fight in favour of the YouTuber-turned-fighter

Diaz heads back to his corner disappointed after all three judges called the fight in favour of the YouTuber-turned-fighter

Diaz was knocked down in the fifth, almost leaving the ring, but managed to recover and carry on to the end of the bout

Diaz was knocked down in the fifth, almost leaving the ring, but managed to recover and carry on to the end of the bout

After the fight, Paul called for an MMA rematch, and insisted he wants $10m to make it happen - with Diaz happy to accept

After the fight, Paul called for an MMA rematch, and insisted he wants $10m to make it happen – with Diaz happy to accept

At Friday’s weigh-in, Diaz was up near near the catch-weight limit of 185 pounds, and that appeared to become a factor as the night went progressed.

Diaz wasn’t finished. He had a resurgent eight round, connecting on consecutive uppercuts and landing another later in the round before giving Paul a slight headbutt to end the frame. In total, Diaz outlanded Paul 26 to 17 in the eighth, and maintained the pressure in the ninth.

But it wasn’t nearly enough for the win, and the judges’ decision reflected that.

‘I wish I could have done better,’ Diaz said after falling to 0-1 as a boxer. 

‘He’s tough, that’s what he’s known for,’ Paul (7-1, KOs) said of Diaz. ‘Of course [I expected to win the decision]. I knocked him down.

‘He’s tough, he’s real tough. That’s what he’s known for but tough in this sport doesn’t work. 

It didn't take long for Diaz to accept a $10million rematch with Paul, only this time using MMA rules in the Octagon

It didn’t take long for Diaz to accept a $10million rematch with Paul, only this time using MMA rules in the Octagon

Paul lands a left to Diaz's face as he took control of the contest at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas

Paul lands a left to Diaz’s face as he took control of the contest at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas

MMA star Diaz was able to dole out some punishment of his own but there could be little complaint Paul bossed the contest

MMA star Diaz was able to dole out some punishment of his own but there could be little complaint Paul bossed the contest

‘I did enough, I knocked him down, won basically every round but he’s a warrior. He kept on coming and no one has taken that much damage. 

‘All credit to my team and conditioning going 10 rounds in my eighth fight, I’ve beat a UFC legend.’

Now, having hopefully distanced himself further from the ‘influencer boxer’ label, Paul has more leverage with which to book his next fight. 

And it won’t necessarily be in the ring.  

‘It’s back to the drawing board now. There’s lots of names [out there]. Tommy Fury rematch? With this new team, I’m a new fighter and I’ll try and get that back.’ 

It didn’t take long for Paul to line up a $10million (£7.84m) rematch – but this time with MMA rules – after he went the full 10 rounds for the first time. 

‘I wanna run it back in MMA,’ he told DAZN. ‘There’s an offer of $10m PFL [Professional Fighting League].

‘Let’s run it back in MMA – make it fair. I won one, now it’s your chance in home territory – let’s do it.’

Diaz, 38, outlined his desire to take up the offer as he said: ‘Yeah, let’s do it. I want to try and do it.

‘He’s tough and I wish I could’ve done better but some s*** didn’t happen how I wanted but he won this one.

‘I’ll fight anybody, I don’t give a f***. MMA sounds good and I’ll try and get one back. Everybody believes he whipped my a*** but I want to beg to differ.’