Jake Paul is hopeful he can convince UFC boss Dana White to let him fight Jorge Masvidal, but admitted he is also in talks with three other fighters.
Tommy Fury, Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort are all in contention to face the YouTube star next following his win against Tyron Woodley.
Paul largely outboxed the former UFC welterweight champion in his home city of Cleveland last month to move to 4-0 since beginning his journey as a pro boxer in January 2020.
It followed a sensational first round knockout of Ben Askren in April, with the 24-year-old earning himself a lucrative promotional deal with Showtime Sports and an even larger target on his back.
Few fighters have been able to gain such traction or attention after just four fights, with Paul and his team in talks with Frank Warren and Fury for a fight later this year.
Yet speaking to journalist Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, the Ohio-native revealed that rival and current UFC welterweight Masvidal was his No.1 target.
“We’re talking to four different parties, four different fighters, and seeing which one makes the most sense,” Paul said. “Honestly just from a personal standpoint, I would love for it to be Masvidal.
“Just because of the s*** talk, just because of his name, just because he’s still in his prime era and there’s a lot of personal beef there after I took out his boy Tyron [Woodley].
“Hopefully Dana would let him out of his contract but we’re not sure if that can happen.”But for me personally, I think that would be the toughest challenge, the toughest guy and the biggest name – the most relevant currently.
“I think that’s the one to make. I think it will happen at some point regardless, but that’s at the top of my list for sure.”
It is understood Fury, who also featured on the card in Cleveland last month, is the most realistic option for Paul’s fifth fight and a December date has been mooted.
The former Disney Channel star has relocated back to his home in Puerto Rico while his trainer BJ Flores and coach J’Leon Love enjoy some much-needed down time after the three-month training camp for Woodley.
In order to fight a UFC star, White would have to sign off on the bout in the same way he did to allow Conor McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather in 2017.
Yet Paul referenced White’s refusal to allow Georges St-Pierre to fight Oscar De La Hoya as a clear indication as to why ‘Gamebred’ may have to wait for his contract to expire before a fight can happen.
“His dad Dana White just has to let him,” Paul added. “That’s what it comes down to.
“Dana wouldn’t let [Georges St-Pierre] fight in that Triller Fight Club that he was trying to do [against De La Hoya earlier this year].
“Dana blocked him from doing that so Dana’s just blocking everyone, being greedy.
“I think he’s starting to realise that I’m embarrassing a lot of his UFC fighters.
“It’s a bad look for him but there is money to be made so we’ll see what ends up happening for sure.”