Despite the circus-like nature of his fight career to this point, Jake Paul will tell you that he’s taking things very seriously.
In November, the YouTube star knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson in the second round. Now, he’s set to do battle with former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren.
“After my Nate Robinson fight, there were probably about 70 people calling me out, wanting to fight me,” Paul said at the Paul vs. Askren pre-fight press conference. “There was probably six people that made sense to fight: [Michael] Bisping, [Conor] McGregor, [Nate] Diaz, [Dillon] Danis, Askren, some YouTubers that are popular, but I wanted to fight a real MMA fighter.
“When it came to signing the contract, a lot of them didn’t want to do it. By the way, this is me coming to them with the biggest payday of their lives. This is Ben’s biggest payday of his life. He’s publicly said that. So, when it came down to signing the contract, he was actually down.”
Currently 2-0 as a pro boxer, Paul welcomes the 19-2 MMA fighter in Askren to the ring. Prior to Paul’s win over Robinson, he TKO’d fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib.
Having squared off with two non-combat sports athletes in those first two outings, Paul is confident in his abilities to take his game to the next level.
“I’m definitely a ‘boxing-lifer,’” Jake Paul said. “I’m addicted to this sport. I will become the biggest prize-fighter in boxing. Simple as that.”
For Askren, the contest will act as his first time competing since his November 2019 meeting with Demian Maia at UFC Singapore. In what was a highly anticipated grappler’s delight delivered in that realm of MMA as well as some lowlighted striking exchanges. In the end, the fight would be the last of Askren’s career as he was submitted in the third round via a rear-naked choke.