Former UFC star Yoel Romero claims he was in line to fight Jake Paul instead of Ben Askren, but the YouTuber’s camp canceled the fight when he showed interest in making it happen.
Jake Paul’s first foray into boxing might have come against fellow YouTubers, but since wins over Deji and AnEsonGib, he has ventured into fighting athletes and professional fighters.
After dispatching of Nate Robinson with a lethal KO, the social media mogul moved on to fight Ben Askren – bringing an end to their longtime online rivalry.
However, it appears as if Askren wasn’t supposed to be Jake’s initial opponent. Former UFC middleweight star Yoel Romero claims he was initially in line to fight the YouTuber, but his camp got cold feet.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, the ‘Solider of God’ claimed that Jake’s camp dropped the idea of a fight between them when Yoel upped his interest and wanted to make it happen.
“What happened was, initially, Jake Paul wanted to do a fight with Yoel but then when Yoel wanted to do it, the Paul team canceled the fight,” the former UFC star said via his translator.
“So, initially, they wanted to do the fight with Yoel. That was when he was just getting out of the UFC, he had not signed with Bellator yet, and they said eventually no, not with Yoel… They decided to go with Ben Askren as an easier target, I guess.”
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Romero added that he believes the Paul brothers don’t want to face “real” fighters and are “just trying to make it a show” that they don’t want to ruin.
“They’re finding the easy fights,” he added. “Even though (Logan) fought Mayweather, but the thing is, there’s a huge weight difference (between them).”
At this point, a fight between Jake and the 44-year-old is unlikely to materialize, given Jake has revealed his boxing ‘hitlist’ and the newly-signed Bellator fighter isn’t on there. Though, never say never in the fight game.