Yesterday former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen tweeted out a fight poster depicting YouTuber and celebrity boxer Jake Paul and former Bellator, ONE and UFC fighter Ben Askren. The poster claimed the pair would be fighting under Mike Tyson’s Legends Only League banner, presented by Triller, on March 28, 2021.
“[Jake Paul] doesn’t trust many in the media to spread the word,” wrote Sonnen. “I’m [sic] was told “Ben then Dillon”. Sonnen is likely referring to Dillon Danis, whom Paul has feuded with (and water ballooned) lately.
Askren seemed to confirm a fight would be happening, when he took to twitter to say he had accepted Paul’s challenge.
“Yes, Mr. Jake Paul, I do accept,” Askren said (ht MMA Fighting). “I know you called me out after your last fight against that bum Nate Robinson, and listen, it’s a pretty simple choice. I’m going to make a whole bunch of money to beat up a guy who is pretending to be an athlete. Because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re doing. And I know you may think I don’t have too many standup skills, but also at the end of the day, I don’t really need to.
“I’m a world-class athlete. I’ve won NCAA titles. I’ve been in the Olympics. I’ve won belts in multiple mixed martial arts organizations, and quite frankly, I am impressed that you’ve deluded yourself into thinking you are actually a fighter! That you are really tough, that you can really box. It’s quite impressive that beating up another YouTuber and beating up a boxer who looked like he had never been in the ring before makes you somehow good at boxing, because it doesn’t. So yes, Jake, I accept. I will see you March 28 in Los Angeles, and I will humble you like millions of people want to see happen.”
After an undefeated run through Bellator and ONE, where he won, held and defended the welterweight titles, Askren signed with the UFC in late 2018. His first Octagon appearance came at UFC 235 in March, 2019, opposite former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Askren beat Lawler via a bulldog choke inside of the first round. Though, not without controversy. ‘Funky’ was then booked against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 that June. In that contest Askren suffered a five second flying knee KO. After that viral defeat Askren lost to Demian Maia, by submission, at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Askren last October. Askren then retired from MMA.
Paul’s first boxing match was in January, when he beat fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib by first round TKO. That fight happened on the undercard of an event headlined by Paul’s older brother Logan, who is also an extremely popular YouTuber.
Paul won his second bout in November, when he KO’d former NBA player Nate Robinson in the co-main event of Triller’s Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. event. In recent weeks Paul has called out a number of fighters including Jorge Masvidal and Conor McGregor.
Logan Paul is expected to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an exhibition bout in February.