Ben Askren Not Worried About Representing MMA Against Jake Paul
Ben Askren is aware of fans counting on him to represent MMA against Jake Paul but he isn’t fazed.
This Saturday night, April 17, Askren will go one-on-one with Paul. The bout will be contested under pro boxing rules. It’ll be Askren’s first pro boxing match and Paul’s third. Askren has far more combat sports experience, being a former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder.
During an interview with MMAJunkie.com, Askren said that he isn’t concerned with the notion that he’s taking a stand for MMA against Paul.
“Most people would roll their eyes if they said, ‘Ben Askren is MMA striking.’ They would be like, ‘Oh [expletive].’ So no, I don’t feel that (pressure to represent MMA) at all. I’m here for me.’”
“It’s more natural for me to grab. So I’ve been trying not to do a lot of grabbing at all in my training.”
Askren went on to say that while he considers himself to be done with MMA competition, he can’t say he’ll never consider making a return.
“In my mind (I’m done). I will say the caveat, because I always hate when people say, ‘There’s no chance.’ Then they come back and you’re like, ‘You told us there’s no chance.’ There’s a small chance. Who thought I was going to box Jake Paul? If someone offers me a whole bunch of money and it’s a good opportunity (then I might fight again). … I just think that chance is small.”
Askren predicts a seventh-round TKO finish over Paul on fight night. The bout will be held inside the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Atlanta, GA.