Ben Askren isn’t opposed to fighting Jake Paul in any fighting style.
Paul is coming off a second-round knockout victory over former NBA star Nate Robinson. Paul is a popular YouTube star, who insists he’s taking his boxing career seriously. Paul has gotten off to a 2-0 start with victories over Robinson and AnEsonGib.
Paul hasn’t been shy in calling out many notable names in the MMA world including Conor McGregor, Dillon Danis, and Askren. During an appearance on Submission Radio, “Funky” responded to Paul’s callout (via MMAFighting.com).
“Most people are like, oh, I don’t know why Ben Askren would stoop to that level. It’s like, listen, when I was in high school, one of the fun things to do was, a bunch of dudes would come over to the house, we’d put on some boxing gloves and we’d try to beat the shit out of each other. Like, we did that for free, we just did that for fun. And now you’re telling me you’re gonna pay me a whole bunch of money to beat up a YouTube star. Like, I don’t know, that just sounds like a fun Friday night to me…
“Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing, Lethwei. Name the style. You name the style, I’ll win.”
Askren retired from pro MMA competition back in October 2019 after suffering a submission loss to Demian Maia. “Funky” thought he’d have to undergo hip replacement surgery but instead opted for a Birmingham hip resurfacing procedure. Askren claims his back pain has been gone ever since the procedure.
While Askren says he can’t wrestle until September 2021, he’s willing to throw down with Paul in the standup. After September, he’d be willing to throw in the grappling. Time will tell if Paul agrees to fight Askren or if he will decide to explore other options.