Dubai: Sport is certainly no stranger to bizarre challenges between men and women and now it’s the turn of MMA to become a part of the long history of the so-called ‘Battle of the Sexes’.
It began on a tennis court in 1973 when in a highly publicised match top women’s player Billie Jean King, 29, beat Bobby Riggs, 55, a former men’s No. 1 and a self-proclaimed male chauvinist.
The times have changed since then and now UFC women’s champ Amanda Nunes to offer trash-talking YouTuber Jake Paul a chance to prove his superiority.
Jake, the younger of the Paul brothers who are followed by millions on social media for their pranks and vulgarities, has been busy calling out some of the biggest names in mixed martial arts ever since he scored a brutal knockout victory over former NBA star Nate Robinson.
The YouTuber first sought out Irish great Conor McGregor and UFC President Dana White, but after seeing that there has been little or no response, has since turned his attention towards Bellator star Dillon Danis, former UFC champ Michael Bisping and retired MMA fighter Ben Askren.
However, Dana White did react to Jake Paul’s call-outs by advocating that he would send Amanda Nunes to knock him out. ‘The Lioness’ was on board but unfortunately Jake Paul was not.
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Paul dismissed the Nunes fight. “Nah, I wouldn’t fight her,” Jake said. “Waste of time. No one knows who she is.”
Meanwhile, Nunes, the UFC’s reigning women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion, is set to return at UFC 259 where she will put her featherweight gold on the line against Megan Anderson.
But Askren is interested in taking on Paul, despite Bellator President Scott Coker predicting that he will be knocked out by the YouTuber. Speaking to MMA Junkie, Coker said: “I already know who’s gonna win that one. Ben’s a wrestler. Let’s put it that way, right?” So I think he gets knocked out in a boxing fight. But in an MMA fight, it’s a different story.”
Interestingly the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ predates to 1875 when a 15-year-old Annie Oakley defeated her future husband, Frank Butler, in a Thanksgiving sharpshooting competition held in Cincinnati.