It would be a lucrative payday for the UFC welterweight champion and No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, but Usman (20-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC) thinks the risk outweighs the reward. That’s why he continues to express interest in boxing undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, a massive challenge that would also result in a big payday.
“Me fighting Jake Paul, I’m helping him,” Usman said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast. “I beat Jake Paul, nobody cares. You’re supposed to beat him. I still get a bank account now. I still get that. I beat Canelo, biggest athlete in the world, not even close, 100 million in the bank. If I’m gonna gamble, I’m gonna gamble well.”
When questioned if he thinks fighting Paul would be a gamble, Usman didn’t even hesitate to say yes.
“Absolutely,” Usman said. “Listen, me and him get in a scrap right now, he could touch me. I’m not naive or ignorant enough to think – let them put it on the news. I’m a realist. I know I’m gonna dog walk him, but at the same time, everyone has a puncher’s chance.”
Usman will look to notch his sixth title defense when he rematches Leon Edwards in the UFC 278 main event, which takes place Aug. 20 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City and airs on pay-per-view. Prelims air on ESPN/ABC following early prelims on ESPN+.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 278.