Tyron Woodley has dropped and knocked out several fighters with his fists (including the great Robbie Lawler to become UFC welterweight champion) whereas Ben Askren... hasn’t. That’s not his strength in MMA and it was evident in his one-round boxing KO loss to Jake Paul in April.
This Sunday sees Woodley make his own foray into pro boxing for the first time, four months removed from his friend Askren’s ill-fated debut. So what does Askren think about Paul vs. Woodley? He’s obviously behind Woodley but does admit there may be some benefit if Jake gets the W.
“I’m still not under the conclusion that [Jake Paul] is a great boxer,” Askren said to TMZ. “He did hit me one time really good, but it wasn’t like he beat me soundly over six rounds. He does hit hard, I guess we’ll give him credit for that.
“I tell you what, if he’s able to beat Tyron, I will probably feel much better about what happened to me, because I’ll think ‘damn, Tyron’s really good.’ I think that’s probably unlikely, but in that case, that’s probably what I’d think.”
Askren retired from MMA after his submission loss to Demian Maia in 2019. but the allure of a career-best payday against Jake Paul — a reported payout of $500,000 — got him out of retirement. You know what happened in the fight itself.
Woodley says he stands to make the biggest purse of his career against Paul, but he’ll be looking to get off to a winning start as a professional boxer. And unlike Askren he intends to make this a longer-term plan even at 39 years of age.
As for Askren’s message for Woodley?
“Kick his ass.”