JAKE PAUL has been backed to knock out Tyron Woodley by UFC featherweight Jeremy Stephens, who said the YouTuber is ‘an athletic freak’.
Paul faces ex-UFC welterweight champion Woodley on August 28 in his fourth professional fight.
The social media star, who wrestled and played American football in college, is 3-0 in his career, all by knockout.
But he has so far only beaten online rival ‘AnEsonGib’, ex-NBA player Nate Robinson, 37, and retired UFC welterweight Ben Askren, 36, a renowned grappler.
Woodley, 39, on the other hand has lost his last four fights and has not win since 2018.
It leaves UFC veteran Stephens, 35, backing Paul to continue his hot streak and praised the celebrity for his dedication and approach to the fight game.
He told MMA News: “I think Jake Paul’s got some skills, man. I think a lot of people kind of estimate this guy.
“I think he actually is gonna do really well against Tyron Woodley, and he might knock him out.
“And he’s got the money, and the training, and he’s surrounded himself with really good people, and he’s an athletic freak.
“And he’s not afraid to put himself out there. I’m kinda diggin’ this guy.”
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Woodley was once the king of the 170lb UFC division after brutally knocking out Robbie Lawler, now 39, in 2016.
He defended the belt four times before surrendering it to current champ Kamaru Usman, 34, in 2019.
He has since lost to Gilbert Burns, 34, Colby Covington, 33, and most recently Vicente Luque, 29, before leaving the UFC.
Paul argued Woodley’s tough streak of defeats leaves him ‘wounded soldier’ and warned their fight will not go into round three.
He told Showtime: “I think as soon as I touch him, his body is going to go back to that losing mentality, the fight or flight and he’s not gonna wanna sit there and fight.
“I don’t know, I just see that that’s why I’ve been saying two rounds.
“I’m too sharp, I’m too fast, I’m too powerful and he has 85 days to do this, learn how to box, and unlearn all those bad habits.
“I’m going to eat up his body, I’m going to eat up his head. ‘He’s not going to know where I’m coming from.
“Kamaru Usman put some damage on him, all these guys put some damage on him, Gilbert Burns put the damage on him.
“He’s coming in a wounded soldier.”
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