Jake Paul and Nate Diaz, who are set to compete in an eight-round bout in Dallas, Texas on August 5, officially faced off for the first time on Tuesday. Announced for the co-main event is a match between the undisputed featherweight champion Amanda Serrano and former WBO featherweight champion Heather Hardy.
The upcoming bout follows Diaz’s submission win against Tony Ferguson at UFC 279 and Paul’s recent split-decision loss against Tommy Fury, the first of his boxing career. Diaz and Paul traded some light verbal jabs before facing off on stage with some playful sparring. The event started later than scheduled and featured a number of quirky moments including Diaz leaving the podium unexpectedly to use the bathroom and a reporter brazenly challenging Nick Diaz. The atmosphere, however, was more or less relaxed with both fighters giving due respect to their opponent.
“I was sitting on the couch at my dad’s house in Ohio [when] I was probably 14 years old, and we were watching the UFC event and his fight came on, and I saw Nate Diaz,” said Paul. “I had a crush on Cameron Diaz at the time and I asked my dad if that was her brother and he said, no, but that’s so the first Nate Diaz fight that I saw. Obviously, he’s a legend in the game and I’m excited to be fighting him. Twelve years later, you know, from the couch in Ohio to here in Dallas, Texas.”
“He’s doing a good job,” said Diaz. “He’s been punished like he said. As far as the fighter, he’s young, he’s motivated. He’s working hard. I can see that. I’m sure everybody can see that. That’s kind of motherf**ker’s unstoppable. That’s why I wanted to fight Connor and the [reason] I took time off from my fights, when I was fighting was because I wanted top guy and they were trying to give me some lame motherf**ker. [I want to fight the] best of the best and I think you did a great job and [I want] motherfuckers to know that I do a great job too.”
20,000 people have signed up for early access tickets, breaking the presale record for the American Airlines Center and other tickets will go on sale May 11 at 1 p.m. ET via Ticketmaster.