Who is Ben Askren? YouTuber Jake Paul to face him in boxing ring, UFC star says he’ll 'put his dreams to an end'
Askren said about the upcoming boxing match: 'I know Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter. I think on April 17 he is going to have a rude awakening to what being a fighter is really like'
Controversial internet personality Jake Paul, who made his professional boxing debut in January 2020, is upping the ante. He will face a former UFC fighter in an eight-round pro boxing match on April 17. As per ESPN, the location for the fight that is taking place under the Triller Fight Club banner hasn't been finalized yet. While the event is expected to feature familiar names from the world of boxing, as well as other social media celebrities and MMA fighters all competing in boxing matches, Paul’s match is going to be the main event.
Paul said about the upcoming match, in a clear attempt to provoke: “These MMA guys think because they throw punches they know how to box. The world complained because I knocked out a basketball player and not a real fighter. So now I'm giving the people what they want by taking on a 'real fighter.' After Ben Askren is added to my knockout meme collection, what can anybody say? Thank you to Triller Fight Club for giving me the platform to once again put a man to sleep."
Who is Ben Askren?
The 36-year-old is a retired professional mixed martial artist and amateur wrestler. As per reports, Askren retired from MMA in 2019. At that time, he said, “I've been having hip problems, and I finally had the discussion with my doctor. I actually got the MRI before my last fight. I need a hip replacement, so that's it for me.”
But, after consulting with doctors and exploring other options, Askren ultimately did not need a full hip replacement. However, he did go into surgery in September 2020 -- a successful one at that. He opted for something called the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing. In his words, “What they do is get it all cleaned up, they cap the top of it, clean up the inside, put something on the inside.”
Even though Askren is only a few months out of surgery, he is confident of the outcome of the match -- despite the fact that this will be the first pro boxing match of Askren's career. He said, “I know Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter. I think on April 17 he is going to have a rude awakening to what being a fighter is really like. Jake has led a privileged life and doesn't really know what the meaning of being a fighter is. I'm going to put his dreams to an end.”
And he has an impressive résumé to back this claim. He is a two-time NCAA wrestling champion, a two-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner, a 2008 Olympian, and a former Bellator and One Championship welterweight champion. He was also a World Champion in submission wrestling. Out of the 22 professional MMA matches he’s been in, Askren has won 19.
"Ben Askren is a two-time NCAA champion, a world champion in two different global mixed martial arts organizations, and has less losses on his record than Conor McGregor," Paul said. "Me, on the other hand, I started boxing two years ago and I'm still going to knock his a** out faster than Masvidal.”
Paul was referring to Jorge Masvidal, a professional MMA fighter, who competes in the Welterweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In 2019, Masvidal defeated the previously unbeaten Askren in the fastest knock-out in UFC history with a flying knee. The victory earned him the 2019 Knockout of the Year by multiple MMA media outlets.