Former UFC superstar Nate Diaz is currently the betting underdog against Jake Paul for their August 5th bout in Dallas. Oddsmakers currently have the Stockton native as a +220 underdog against “The Problem Child,” who is the -285 favorite.
But according to retired undefeated boxer and two-division world champion Andre Ward, the 38-year-old Diaz can give the much younger Paul some trouble once they lock horns inside the ring.
Ward addresses Nate Diaz’s recent pad work video
A recent video of Diaz hitting the pads with trainer Ernie Reyes Jr. had recently surfaced. Many observers didn’t like what they saw and it drew concern for the UFC veteran.
Ward, however, tells everyone not to be too quick with their judgments.
“People look at that mitt session that they had and they just misread the play, man,” Ward said in his recent appearance on The MMA Hour. “[Because] those types of shots, they don’t look pretty, but they keep coming.
“They keep coming from different angles and he’s got some miles on him. He’s been around a long time.”
Diaz expected to give Paul some problems
Love him or hate him, the 26-year-old Paul has proven that he can win against some of prizefighting’s big names. Regardless of his questioned victories, he nonetheless holds wins against former champions like Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren, as well as one of MMA’s deemed ‘GOATs’ Anderson Silva.
“I fancy him for it to be honest,” McGregor said of Diaz. The other cat (Jake Paul) is a bit windy. He’s a donkey. The guy’s a donkey, the other cat. But a donkey has a kick as well. You just have to be worried about that.”
“I just see Nate… he’d be peppering him, he’d be in his face, and I just think it would be Nate. It will be Nate.
But for Ward – who’s been a longtime training partner for both Nick and Nate – the younger Diaz brother can, at the very least, cause some problems for Paul.
“[Diaz has] to show that he can take the shot from Jake Paul, because Jake has a natural right hand, it’s got power on it.
“So if he can take that right hand from Jake Paul, it’s gonna be a tougher fight than people realize, man, because Nate’s going to keep coming.”
Nate Diaz and Jake Paul’s records
Diaz has been a fixture in the UFC since 2007, when he entered the organization by winning the fifth season of the Ultimate Fighter. He’s beaten formidable opponents along the way, including Gray Maynard, Michael Johnson, Jim Miller, and Donald Cerrone, among many others.
But his biggest victory happened in 2016, when he dealt Conor McGregor his first UFC loss. It was a fight that catapulted Diaz to further superstardom. His last fight happened at UFC 279 last September against Tony Ferguson, whom he defeated via fourth round submission.
After the win, Diaz decided to not re-sign with the UFC to explore other opportunities outside the organization. His current MMA record stands at 21-13.
As for Paul, he was on an undefeated run since he began his pro boxing career in 2020. His biggest win happened in late 2021, when he scored a faceplant KO against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Paul’s unblemished streak came to an end in February when he lost to Tommy Fury via split decision. His current record stands at 6-1.
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