Logan Paul got knocked out by UFC middleweight Paulo Costa yesterday. In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, the vlogger turned boxer (and now, presumably, MMA fighter) was ironed out with a huge right hand by the #1 ranked middleweight in the UFC.
And yet, we can’t help feeling that all is not as it seems. Indeed, fans of MMA and combat sports were quick to cast doubt on the knockout when it was uploaded to the ESPNMMA Instagram page this morning.
“This stunt is the equivalent of Logan Paul’s boxing career: A joke.” Said one commenter.
After all, this is YouTube, where controversy, knockouts and doing pretty reprehensible things all in the name of views is par for the course. It wouldn’t be a stretch then, to suggest that the knockout was faked to help generate views, and press, not only for Paul but for Costa, too.
In the clip we see Costa throw a looping right that appears to connect with Paul’s jaw, sending him to the canvas.
Commenters were quick to suggest it was faked, not least because Costa appears to knock Paul out cold, his body crumpling to the canvas, but seconds later Paul is awake and able to talk coherently.
Much has been made of Paul’s move into combat sports. His recent bout with fellow YouTuber KSI featured the WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders fighting Marcelo Coceres on the undercard. Many people felt it made a mockery of boxing and combat sports.
If Paul now decides to try his hand at MMA, he will join a growing list of amateurs looking to mix it with the pros. Former WWE wrestler CM Punk was criticized heavily for his attempted move into the UFC in 2014. In 2012, former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff attempted to launch a professional boxing career, winning a bout against American Richard Dawson that was described as a circus.
More recently, former England rugby player James Haskell announced that he had signed to MMA promotion Bellator.
Love them or hate them, what’s certain is that Logan Paul, KSI and fellow YouTubers and celebrities have huge audiences of engaged and loyal fans, and that means money. Where combat sports are concerned, cash is king.
With unprecedented events like the 2017 Conor McGregor vs Floyd Maywether super fight racking up over 4 million pay per view fights, there’s no doubt that crossover and novelty fights bring in huge audiences.
But we’re getting off topic. We will say that in Logan’s defence, he seemed to mix it very well with Costa in the latter stages of the video when they were seen wrestling together.
Whether we’ll see him enter the octagon any time soon remains to be seen.