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Ben Askren to ‘annoying’ critics: To say I’m easy to hit or knockdown is ‘ridiculous’

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Ben Askren has a response to those who question his durability ahead of his boxing match with Jake Paul.

UFC Fight Night: Open Workouts Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

One of the noteworthy news headlines for the week is the return of Ben Askren. The former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder is coming out of retirement to take on YouTuber Jake Paul in a boxing match on April 17.

And while many are rooting for the “Funky” one to come out victorious, there are those who are already expecting another knockout loss for him.

Paul recently began training with Jorge Masvidal, the first man to make Askren taste defeat. And based on those sessions, the 24-year-old YouTuber now predicts a KO in “less than 4 seconds.”

A veteran trash talker himself, Askren isn’t usually affected by what he hears from detractors. But the KO predictions that question his chin and durability apparently got to him.

“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,” Askren told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “But 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. 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. Because I don’t think you could name very many fighters with 20-plus fights who’ve been knocked down one time in their entire career.”

Askren was on a nine-year undefeated streak (19-0, 1 NC at the time) before he ran into Masvidal in July 2019 and became a highlight reel for the fastest KO loss in the UFC. It was followed by a submission loss to Demian Maia six months later, which led him to retirement at the age of 36.