Back in April 2021, reports about a special bout agreement for the Jake Paul-Ben Askren match surfaced on fight week. The said deal supposedly stated that Askren would forfeit his entire purse if he threw any MMA move during the fight.
At the time, Askren disputed the claim by simply saying “this is false.” But in a recent conversation with Fight Hub TV’s Marcos Villegas, he did confirm that he was asked to sign a special agreement.
“The one thing they did try to do, they tried to pull over on me… one day, his guy (business partner Nakisa Bidarian) called me and he said, ‘Hey Ben, Triller’s worried you’re gonna do some MMA moves… how about you sign a contract you’ll get fined $100,000 for every time you do an MMA move?’
“I said, ‘I already signed a contract, why would I sign that? That sounds stupid.’ And he’s like, ‘well, come on, it will make Jake feel good and Triller really wants it.’”
“Funky” Ben found it absurd, and understandably so, considering how much it would favor him if he ended up doing damage on “The Problem Child.”
“I said, ‘Is there a plus for me, or is there only a minus here? How about if I don’t do one, you give me an extra couple hundred thousand?’ And he’s like, ‘No!’ I’m like, ‘Well, then get lost. That’s dumb. No.’
“I don’t know if Jake was nervous that I was gonna elbow him. Or a kick? Who knows?
“If I beat up Jake Paul, you realize I could do whatever the hell I want. If I wanna go fight his brother, I fight his brother. If I wanna box someone else, I box someone else. I’m gonna make so much more money if I beat him up.
“So the notion that I would take money to not beat him up is preposterous.”
Askren, who was knocked out within two minutes of action, was nonetheless satisfied by his $500K payday, the biggest of his entire fighting career, apparently.
As for Paul, he fights Anderson Silva this weekend in Glendale, Arizona under Showtime Boxing.
UPDATE: Triller has issued a statement to Bloody Elbow, with CEO and Chairman Mahi de Silva claiming they never spoke to Askren about additional terms.
We never spoke to Jake Paul, Nakissa, or any other party about any such agreement for Ben and certainly were never made aware this was being asked of him.
He signed an agreement with Triller fight club which was submitted and approved by all regulatory bodies, and no other agreement, amendment, or other changes were discussed with us.
We take the regulatory and Commission rules very seriously. Moreover, since Ben was long retired and not a boxer, we would never have expected nor asked for anything of the sort.