Ben Askren Doesn’t Represent MMA- Stephen Thompson Sides with Jorge Masvidal

Published 04/14/2021, 6:00 AM EDT


Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson spoke out on his podcast platform ahead of a massive boxing showcase primed for Triller. Chiefly, Jake Paul and Ben Askren will lace up the gloves in an eight-round affair set for April 17. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Atlanta plays host to the aforementioned scrap that has captured everyone’s attention.

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Paul is looking to gain legitimacy in the boxing realm by extending his 2-0 record against a former MMA fighter. ‘Funky’ Ben last competed against Demian Maia back in late 2019. He was choked unconscious by the Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and decided to ride off into the sunset after a successful career.

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Stephen Thompson says Ben Askren is “boring”

While discussing the specifics of the aforementioned boxing bout, Thompson revealed that he shared Jorge Masvidal’s point of view on the fight. ‘Gamebred’ came out and said that Ben Askren wasn’t an accurate representation of the MMA community. Thompson sided with this notion, bringing to light Askren’s somewhat lackluster striking with four-ounce gloves.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 04: Stephen Thompson waits for the decision after his title fight against welterweight champion Tyron Woodley during UFC 209 on March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Woodley retained his title with a majority-decision win. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

“I agree when it comes to striking yes, [Ben Askren doesn’t represent the MMA community]. When have you ever seen him just knock someone out with his striking? He got pieced up by Maia, who is not a striker. The guy grabs a hold of your pinky toe, takes you down, lays on you, and strikes you. But anyone can do that…but the wrestling part obviously not everyone can do that.”

“He’s that good at wrestling, but that’s his success in MMA, which is why the UFC didn’t want him for so long because he’s boring. He just takes you down and punches you.”

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SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 26: Ben Askren prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his welterweight bout against Demian Maia of Brazil 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)

Wonderboy’ is arguably the authority on the matter of striking in MMA, as he’s as seasoned as they come. Furthermore, Jorge Masvidal is also known to be a technical savant on the feet with about 50 professional fights under his belt.

Ben Askren will have to bring his A-game when facing Jake Paul, who has been skilling himself in boxing for the better part of three years.

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Darryl Pinto

1454 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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