Ben Askren on Dana White okaying bout vs. Jake Paul
Former ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren was traded to the UFC for GOAT candidate, former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. “Mighty Mouse” has gone 3-0 in ONE, winning the flyweight grand prix, and fights for the ONE title vs. reigning division champion Adriano Moraes on February 24. Askren beat Robbie Lawler, and then lost to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia, and retired.
However, Askren remained under contract with the UFC, and his contract prohibits competing in other combat sports. Thus there surprise when it was announced that Askren would be boxing YouTube personality Jake Paul in a boxing match. During a recent interview with Mike Bohn for MMA Junkie, Askren discussed how UFC president Dana White okayed the bout.
“He does not seem to like Jake Paul too much, that’s seeming to be totally true,” said Askren “We had a nice phone call. Probably the most cordial phone call Dana and I have ever had. … Both Dana and Hunter [Campbell] were relatively easy. They didn’t really have many complaints. They signed off on pretty much – there was some annoyingness with [promoter] Triller was looking at a whole bunch of different dates, so I had to get a bunch of different dates approved, so that was kind of difficult a little bit, but besides that, everything was all smooth.”
Askren’s boxing is something like Derrick Lewis’s Jiu-Jitsu, and betting odds favor Paul, but “Funky” is taking it in stride.
“The one thing that is most annoying – and I try to never get annoyed with what people are saying because I know people on the internet are very stupid so I try to kill them with indifference as I learned when Aaron Rodgers says – in my entire MMA career, in all the sparring I’ve done in my career in the gym, I’ve been rocked one time and it was against Jorge Masvidal,” Askren said. “That was it. I never got buckled, I never got clipped, I never got knocked down. The notion that I’m easy to hit or easy to knock down is ridiculous. I don’t think you could say very many fighters that have had 20-plus fights that have never been knocked down or knocked out one time in their entire career.”
Paul is attempting to crudely coax Askren into a bitter Twitter quarrel, but the former Olympic wrestling isn’t biting.
“Have you ever seen me get all that upset?” asked Askren. “When you realize someone is doing something simply for the sake of trying to f*** with you, why would you let him f*** with you? That’s about as stupid as it gets.”
Askren doesn’t promise a quick fight.
“It’ll probably maybe be relatively competitive in the first couple rounds [until] he starts to slow down and I start to land a lot more punches, a lot of volume,” said Askren. “The seventh round I’m going to TKO him and he’s going to wish he was still a Disney kid star.”
What do you think UG? Who wins it?