Ben Askren Reveals Why He Agreed to Fight Jake Paul in a Boxing Match

Published 01/28/2021, 1:00 PM EST
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 26: (R-L) Ben Askren punches Demian Maia of Brazil in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Ben Askren is one of the greatest wrestlers to crossover into MMA. However, Askren is also notoriously one of the worst strikers to ever rise to the top in MMA. If seeing is believing, Askren gave everyone plenty of reason to believe he has poor striking in his last UFC bout against Demian Maia.

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However, Ben will be facing YouTuber Jake Paul (2-0) in a boxing match this April. He revealed why he took the fight in an interview with TMZ. Spoiler: He isn’t very complimentary of Paul’s skills.

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“A mixed martial arts contest? That would not be fair whatsoever. That would just be a one-sided beatdown and last probably less than two minutes. He wanted to box and I have never boxed professionally.

“But at the end of the day, I have been world class at multiple things. I wanted to be a great wrestler, and I did it, went to the Olympics. I wanted to be a great mixed martial artist, I won world championship belts in two organizations. I wanted to be a great disc golfer, and I finished top 10 in the world in disc golf two times. If I want to beat an amateur boxer, it won’t take more than three months to beat an amateur boxer.”

Ben Askren: Does he stand a chance?

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MIAMI, FLORIDA – JANUARY 30: Jake Paul celebrates after defeating AnEsonGib in a first round knockout during their fight at Meridian at Island Gardens on January 30, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

It is crazy for us to evaluate whether a genuine MMA world champion can beat a YouTuber in a fight, but that is what we have come to. This is possibly the most believable stylistic matchup that Paul could have asked for from a genuine fighter in a boxing ring.

Paul has definitely shown more crisp boxing in his career, but that has been against scrubs. Askren’s striking is still relatively untested, as he used strikes just to set up his wrestling. However, there will be no wrestling inside a boxing ring.

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As a former fighter, Ben Askren is right. He should be able to pick up enough skills to beat a basically amateur boxer in a pro fight. However, his striking technique is some of the shoddiest looking in MMA history. Now that he has a few months to prepare for this fight, Askren will be hard at work sharpening those punches, If not, he allows the score to be: Jake Paul:1, MMA:0.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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