Jake Paul claims Vitor Belfort’s “obsession” with fighting him started even before the YouTuber laced up a pair of gloves.
Belfort offered Paul $ 30 million to fight him after knocking out Evander Holyfield in the first round of their show on Saturday night.
Paul has rejected the former UFC star’s advances and doesn’t think his Triller Fight Club promoters have the money they’re asking for.
And he revealed he had met Belfort before, claiming the former UFC champion had called him for a few years, since before his white-collar debut against Deji Olatunji in 2018.
“It just seems a little desperate to see Vitor calling me,” Paul said in an MMA Hour interview.
“It’s like chasing after influence, this guy has been in my DMs since 2017, you know, begging to fight.”
Paul was first called up for a boxing match by fellow YouTuber KSI in February 2018 and began training when a fight date against his brother Deji was confirmed for August of the same year.
This means Belfort would have been one of the first notable stars to call Paul for a fight in his life, at the height of his YouTube fame.
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And Paul says the rivalry came to life more recently during a college football game, with Belfort calling it in person during an Ohio State Championship game.
“And then I’m sitting at the Ohio State NCAA Championship soccer game,” Paul continued. “And he’s like, in the stands; comes running towards me with his son.
“His son asks for a picture and he’s like, sitting there and looking at me, like, kinda crazy, and I’m like, ‘What’s going on, sir?
“And he didn’t want to leave and he said, ‘Did you recognize me?’
“So just out of respect I said, ‘You sound a little familiar.’ And he said, ‘I’m Vitor Belfort. You know, I thought about it… “
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“And he starts talking about that five minute talk about why we should fight – I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m watching a soccer game. Like, please leave me alone, old man ‘.
“Since that day he’s obsessed with the idea of fighting me.”
Paul is, however, more likely to face Tommy Fury in his next fight – and is also more interested in a fight with Jorge Masvidal.
The YouTuber has publicly stepped up the pressure on former UFC welterweight title contender Masvidal, while behind the scenes his team continue to chat with Frank Warren about a fight in December.
And during his appearance on The MMA Hour, Paul also hinted at potential fights with Nate Diaz or Anderson Silva down the line, further hurting Belfort’s chances of fighting the big money.