Ben Askren Explains How He Got UFC To Greenlight Jake Paul Fight
Ben Askren has detailed how he got the UFC to greenlight his upcoming boxing match with Jake Paul.
Askren is set to throw leather with Paul on April 17. The bout will headline a card promoted by Triller. While Askren retired from pro MMA competition following his October 2019 loss to Demian Maia, Askren is still under contract with the UFC.
During an interview with MMAJunkie.com, Askren revealed that a conversation with UFC President Dana White went about as smoothly as he had hoped.
“He does not seem to like Jake Paul too much, that’s seeming to be totally true. We had a nice phone call. Probably the most cordial phone call Dana and I have ever had. … Both Dana and Hunter (Campbell) were relatively easy. They didn’t really have many complaints. They signed off on pretty much – there was some annoyingness with (promoter) Triller was looking at a whole bunch of different dates, so I had to get a bunch of different dates approved, so that was kind of difficult a little bit, but besides that, everything was all smooth.”
Askren and White have come a long way from the days of trading verbal insults. Before coming to the UFC, White said that Askren needed to prove himself by signing with World Series of Fighting, now named PFL. This was despite the fact that Askren was already a Bellator Welterweight Champion. At one point White even had Askren blocked on social media.
Things smoothed over once Askren was acquired in a trade with ONE Championship. “Funky” ended up going 1-2 under the UFC banner.