Popular YouTuber Jake Paul, who knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in his second pro fight last November, is returning to the boxing ring. And he’ll face former UFC fighter Ben Askren when he does.
News of this match-up was broken by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, via twitter.
Jake Paul will fight Ben Askren in an eight-round pro boxing match on April 17, per Triller founder Ryan Kavanaugh. The fight will serve as the main event of the next Triller Fight Club card. Location TBD.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 26, 2021
Jake Paul will fight Ben Askren in an eight-round pro boxing match on April 17, per Triller founder Ryan Kavanaugh. The fight will serve as the main event of the next Triller Fight Club card. Location TBD. Done deal.
Paul has since confirmed the match-up.
Askren was one of a number of fighters, including Jorge Masvidal, Dillon Danis and Conor McGregor, to get called out by Paul after he defeated Robinson. Askren was quick to accept the invite and it seemed a date had been set (per Chael Sonnen).
However, then things went quiet. In December Askren said Paul had backed out of a planned fight and that he didn’t think their match-up would materialize.
But now it seems all issues has been straightened out and that these two fighters (one retired and one part-time) will actually meet up in the squared circle.
Paul, who is the brother of Logan Paul — another famous YouTuber and hobby boxer), first boxed as a pro in January 2020, when he beat another YouTuber by first round TKO. His second bout, against Robinson, was on the undercard of Triller’s Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. event.
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.