Former mixed martial arts champion and ex-UFC fighter Ben Askren shared his thoughts on a potential rematch with Jake Paul.
Social media influencer turned boxer Paul was last seen in action against the MMA icon Anderson Silva in October. He put in an impressive performance and even managed to knock down Silva en route to a decision win.
He took to Twitter Thursday to announce he signed with the PFL (Professional Fighters League) as an MMA fighter.
“I’ve proven myself in and out of the boxing ring and now I am going to do the same in MMA,” Paul said in a statement. “There is no limit to the positive impact I can make on the sport. I plan to enter the PFL SmartCage and once again show the world that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.”
ESPN MMA wrote, “Thoughts on a Ben Askren revenge fight, but in MMA?”
Askren responded, “Well that would be delightful, but my UFC contract froze when I retired. Lots of hurdles to clear, someone take care of those for me and I’d love to rub his face in the canvas for a while.”
Paul Signs With the PFL
‘The Problem Child’ signed a contract with the PFL in mixed martial arts. PFL chairman and co-founder Donn Davis told ESPN it is a multi-fight, multi-year deal.
“I think what’s made Jake interesting to fans is that he works hard and he doesn’t underestimate what it takes,” Davis said. “He knows he’s not ready [for his MMA debut] right now, but he’s starting to train. I think it’s going to be about one year from now, so early 2024, where you’ll see him take on his first opponent. But the kind of opponents he is thinking of will shock the world in terms of their status and name brand.”
He had been eyeing a move to MMA ever since he took to the squared circle. He rose to prominence after competing against former MMA champion Ben Askren, whom he knocked out brutally in Apr. 2021.
Other than ‘The Spider,’ Paul also faced former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on two occasions. He managed to edge out Woodley on the judges’ scorecards by a split decision in their first meeting. For the second time around, Paul left no doubts as he scored a vicious knockout over Woodley in Dec. 2021.
Paul Wants To Fight Diaz in His MMA Debut
Paul is looking to make his MMA debut against the Stockton native, who recently became a free agent after completing his contract with the UFC.
“I’ve already disrupted boxing, and now it’s time to disrupt MMA,” Paul said (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “I know this is such a tough sport, and it’s not going to be easy, but if I could do it in boxing, I could do it in MMA. …
“I’m so dedicated to this that I offered Nate Diaz a two-fight deal. First we box. Then six months later we fight MMA in the PFL smart cage and lay it all on the line. If that’s not balls, then I don’t know what is. Nate Diaz, I’m down to fight you in your own damn sport. It’s a two-fight deal. Let’s make it happen.”