Jake Paul drops Nate Diaz but fails to KO UFC legend in boxing fight

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Jake Paul lands on Nate Diaz (Image: Getty Images)
Jake Paul lands on Nate Diaz (Image: Getty Images)

Jake Paul dropped UFC legend Nate Diaz but had to settle for a points decision in their grudge fight.

The social media star had tasted defeat for the first time against Tommy Fury six months ago, and returned to the ring for his shot at redemption against one of MMA's most beloved stars. Diaz appeared on paper to be another step back into the pool of retired UFC legends who had never boxed, but much was made in the build-up of his mythical spars with Andre Ward and other great boxers.

A raucous crowd filled up the Dallas Mavericks' home arena from early in the night to watch an undercard that featured MMA fighters, top title contenders and even an undisputed featherweight title rematch. Jake's brother Logan even jetted over 1,100 miles from Detroit to make the walk with his sibling.

Interestingly, it was Paul who walked second for the first time in his career; with Diaz making him wait with a lengthy walkout to the ring. Both men were flanked by their famous brothers Logan and Nick, with the YouTubers loudly booed to the ring by fans in the arena.

A tentative start lasted no longer than a minute before Paul began racing towards his target, missing on his biggest punches but generally landing punches in bunches as Diaz retreated to the ropes. That onslaught couldn't last, however, with the MMA legend landing a few towards the round's end.

Jake Paul calls on John Fury to make retirement bet for fight with son Tommy rriddqixxiqezinvJake Paul calls on John Fury to make retirement bet for fight with son Tommy

The second was much more favourable for Diaz, who appeared to hurt Paul in close with some big shots. Paul appeared flustered at times by the volume, but a lack of real power stopped the bout from getting out of hand as the pair headed to the third likely one apiece.

Round three began with both landing significant shots, but it was Diaz who began to take over as the round reached its conclusion. Unfortunately for the MMA veteran it seemed as though Paul's more polished boxing allowed him to get the better of the exchanges, and having landed a huge right hand early he may have snuck the round.

Paul began to settle into the contest in the fourth, moving around and showcasing the skills he learned in his new training camp. The crowd's cheers clearly favoured Diaz, but his movements were not significant enough to steal him the round despite all the noise to the contrary.

Jake Paul drops Nate Diaz but fails to KO UFC legend in boxing fightJake Paul took on Nate Diaz (Getty Images)

Round five began to loud chants of "f*** Jake Paul ", as both began to show the early signs of fatigue after a gruelling four rounds. But halfway through, Paul landed flush and added Diaz to the list of opponents he has dropped with a big left hook that sent him tumbling almost out of the ring.

Diaz toughed through to see the end of the round, even landing a few of his own, before walking off a few seconds before the bell. The sixth was considerably less eventful, with Diaz pushing the pace as Paul's gas tank began to deplete heading to the seventh for just the fourth time.

Round seven saw Diaz begin to land cleaner than ever as Paul's guard dropped, but both men walked through each other's shots with impressive fortitude as they ticked towards the third eighth round of the YouTube star's career - which was a more favourable round for the Stockton native despite not landing much of note.

In his first ninth round, Paul looked surprisingly fresh as both men headed past their previous limits. Diaz had never gone farther than 25 minutes in a five round UFC fight, while Paul had insisted on lengthening the bout after the pair had originally agreed to fight for eight.

The tenth began with Diaz taking a clear breather on the ropes as Paul threw everything he had at getting his first stoppage since that star-making 2021 knockout of Tyron Woodley. And as Diaz jeered him on in the corner, the crowd began to reach fever pitch. The pair swung for the fences as the seconds ticked away, and somehow made it to the final bell with Diaz gloating and showboating away. However, it wasn't to be as he slumped to defeat in his professional boxing bow.

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Even the night's co-main event was packed with star power as featherweight boxing legends Amanda Serrano and Heather Hardy did battle again for the undisputed title. The New York duo had fought to a lopsided decision in 2019 which sent the Puerto Rican on her way to global stardom, and she returned the favour by allowing a women's fighting icon one last shot at the gold.

John Fury makes blunder while issuing "stretcher" threat to Jake PaulJohn Fury makes blunder while issuing "stretcher" threat to Jake Paul

Their bout was an exciting one, starting from Serrano's walkout which featured Grammy-nominated rapper Saweetie introducing her to a packed out crowd. From the opening bell to the final one ten rounds later, Serrano battered Hardy, who proved herself as one of the sport's toughest fighters in history.

On the undercard, Paul's super-middleweight prospect Shadasia Green continued her unbeaten run as a professional as she dominated Olivia Curry to pick up an Unanimous Decision. She is currently a mandatory for three of the four belts that make up Savannah Marshall's undisputed super-middleweight title, and is keen on a trip to the UK for her title challenge.

And youngster Ashton Sylve continued his fantastic string of wins with a stunning knockout over 35-fight veteran William Silva in the fourth round. Elsewhere on the night, Chris Avila continued his unthinkable underdog story with yet another upset win over UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens.

Donagh Corby

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