Youtuber Jake Paul to face former MMA star, Ben Askren

Former UFC welterweight Ben Askren to face YouTuber Jake Paul on April 17

Ed Mullholand Matchroom

As a result of Conor McGregor’s disheartening defeat at Dustin Poirier’s hands-on Jan. 24 at the UFC’s fight island in Abu Dhabi, Jake Paul no longer seems to be eager to get in the ring with McGregor. This is one of many prospects that have fallen through for the Irishman due to the loss. Paul is now slated to fight former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren. Askren retired from competing in November of 2019.

 

This bout will be Paul’s third professional fight, even though some would dispute his record’s validity as he and his opponents have had very little boxing training. Both Jake and his brother Logan have taken the boxing world by storm within the past few years, beginning with their debuts in 2019. Jake is set to fight a former UFC champion, and Logan is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather sometime this year. Needless to say, the young upstarts have been controversial. 

 

Before the fight, Askren wasn’t even sure who Jake Paul was. 

 

“Honestly, when he first called me out, I had heard the name but I didn’t know anything about him whatsoever,” Askren said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I’m like why is this dude so famous? I can’t really figure it out for the life of me. I guess kids like him and sh*t.”

Askren doubts whether or not Paul is going to be able to go far in boxing. He questions the ability of someone without a background in high-level sports to develop the skill set necessary to become a skilled fighter. 

“With Jake Paul, now he did start at 25 or something, he started two years ago,” said Askren. “With the right environment and the right amount of time could he become elite? Yes. Do I think that’s what’s going to happen? No, I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen.”

Askren’s retirement from the UFC came off of two back-to-back losses the first of which made UFC history due to his five-second KO at the hands of Jorge Masvidal. His final fight was against Demien Maia who he lost to by way of submission.

Askren has experience with inexperienced fighters. He trained CM Punk when he began his MMA career in 2016. 

Chris Unger/ Zuffa LLC

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