Ben Askren jumped at the opportunity to box YouTuber, Jake Paul.
After Paul knocked out Nate Robinson on the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. undercard, he called out several MMA fighters including Askren. Although “Funky” just had hip surgery and isn’t known as a striker, the former ONE Championship and Bellator champion knew this was a good opportunity to make a ton of money and beat up someone who he claims, isn’t a good fighter.
“I love fighting, I’ve never been a boxer but I do love fighting. And, I don’t have to beat up a really good boxer, I have to beat up Jake Paul and that’s what I keep stressing to everyone,” Askren said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I applaud his marketing efforts as he has made people think he is a good boxer, I don’t really think that is the case. In my mind, I have to beat up Jake Paul which is no big deal. People for some reason are giving him more credit than he deserves. I don’t think he is very good.”
Since starting his training camp, Ben Askren started to learn more about striking. He knows his striking in MMA doesn’t look the best because of the fact all he used it for was to set up his takedown.
Yet, in his camp, Askren said he started to learn how to throw several punch combinations at once. He also says his footwork has gotten much better, but he still knows he will make it a dirty fight in the beginning. He expects to clinch early and frustrate Paul, who will likely want it to be a technical fight.
“Learning how to throw four, five, six, seven punches in a row is something new. I’m picking it up quickly, I’m learning quickly,” Askren said. “I’ve been top-10 in the world in four different sports. It shouldn’t take me more than 12 weeks to beat up Jake Paul.”
Askren, meanwhile, doesn’t understand where the notion is that he will get knocked out. The former UFC welterweight says he’s never been rocked by a punch and knows the likes of Robbie Lawler, Douglas Lima, and Andrey Koreshkov hit harder than Paul do.
“I’ve also literally never been rocked by a punch in my life. Obviously, there is the incident with Masvidal’s knee and that was it,” Askren added. “I think people underrate (my striking) it because it looks very funny. That is just how I do things, it doesn’t look right, it looks like I suck at it then all of the sudden I’m really good.”
Although Askren is confident he will get his hand raised, he didn’t understand the odds. “Funky” is the betting underdog, which he believes is dumb. It only cements his case that he is in a win-win situation as he either wins, or he loses which people expect him to do and made a bunch of money.
“The one thing that made me think win-win and no risk is when the f*****g odds came out and they had me as an underdog and I was like you stupid a*s people, let’s do this.”
In the fight, Askren knows he is a slow starter. He also expects Paul to come out strong to look for a quick knockout. However, Funky is confident in his skill set and eventually, in the final three rounds, he will make Paul quit and get the TKO win.
“He will be less and less effective as the fight goes. I’m not a speed guy, as the longer it goes on I will get better and better,” Ben Askren said. “I think that is how it will go, as the fight goes on I get better and he gets worse. I don’t even think I knock him out, I think I’ll make him hate his life and make him quit. That is what I think happens.
“He will realize there are a lot better ways to make money than this,” Askren concluded. “This is not as fun as boxing Nate Robinson or that other dude.”
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