Punches thrown at faceoff before Paul-Diaz fight


DALLAS — Things got physical on stage Thursday at the Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz news conference, after the two main-event fighters did their traditional faceoff.

Both camps’ security teams got into a shoving match with punches thrown after things became heated between Paul, Diaz and their respective teams.

Paul, the YouTuber-turned-prizefighter, and Diaz, the former longtime UFC star, will fight in a boxing match Saturday night here at American Airlines Center.

There has been bad blood between the two teams for nearly a year. Diaz’s team said one of Paul’s security guards went after its fighter and his team on stage. Paul responded in a social media post that a member of Diaz’s team that was on the stage threw a punch first and then got hit by a Paul security guard.

“Nate’s team has emailed my team trying to claim assault after his team swung first,” Paul posted afterward on X, formerly Twitter. “Apparently the guy who swung first is at the hospital getting stitches. Hilarious these fake gangsters acting like this!”

Diaz and Paul were mostly on the outskirts of the skirmish.

The news conference got heated when a member of Paul’s Betr media team egged Diaz on with a question, saying he couldn’t wait for Paul to knock Diaz out. The same person talked trash about Diaz’s brother Nick, another UFC veteran, at a press conference in May.

Later Thursday, Paul posted about Diaz: “You threatened MVP’s co-founder who has been a partner to you and your team every step of the way. He’s put your best friend on over and over again. Stupid.”

The two teams also got into it last October at Paul’s fight against Anderson Silva and Diaz slapped the security guard during the fracas. Diaz reminded the security guard several times during the media session.

“That security guard who got clowned on stage with Nate, he’s the one who started the s—,” said Chris Avila, Diaz’s teammate who fights ex-UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens on Saturday. “He needs his ass whooped.”

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