Jake Paul to Fight UFC Fighter on April 17: ‘Rude Awakening’

Jake Paul


YouTuber Jake Paul’s next opponent will be a retired UFC fighter. According to ESPN, Paul will face former UFC welterweight Ben Askren in an eight-round professional boxing match on April 17. The location of the event has not yet been determined, but Paul vs. Askren will headline the next Triller Fight Club event on pay-per-view.

“I know Jake Paul is enjoying pretending he is a fighter,” Askren said per ESPN. “I think on April 17 he is going to have a rude awakening to what being a fighter is really like. Jake has led a privileged life and doesn’t really know what the meaning of being a fighter is. I’m going to put his dreams to an end.”

Paul is 2-0 as a professional boxer, but this will be the first opponent the 24-year-old American will face who actually has legitimate professional prizefighting experience.

Askren, 36, is a former Bellator MMA and ONE Championship welterweight champ. While his MMA style relied heavily on his wrestling skills, he’ll easily be the most decorated boxer Paul has yet to face as a professional.

According to ESPN, Paul is still under contract with the UFC, so the fighter had to receive permission from the company to take the fight.

Paul Promises Another KO

Despite being matched tough against a legit prizefighter for the first time in his career, Paul continued to trash talk his opponent just as much as ever. Paul’s latest bold promise was that he was going knock out Askren faster than Jorge Masvidal did back in 2019.

That was the fastest knockout in UFC history, and Paul thinks he’ll do even better.

“Ben Askren is a two-time NCAA champion, a world champion in two different global mixed martial arts organizations and has less losses on his record than Conor McGregor,” Paul said per ESPN. “Me, on the other hand, I started boxing two years ago and I’m still going to knock his ass out faster than Masvidal.”

Essentially, Paul believes his limited time over the last two years training as a professional boxer will translate into him having more skills than Askren’s long MMA career has afforded him. The basic premise seems to be that MMA fighters have to train across multiple disciplines and boxers focus on only one aspect of unarmed combat.

“These MMA guys think because they throw punches they know how to box. The world complained because I knocked out a basketball player and not a real fighter. So now I’m giving the people what they want by taking on a ‘real fighter.’ After Ben Askren is added to my knockout meme collection, what can anybody say?”

Indeed, just fighting someone like Askren is a huge step up in competition for Paul.

While Askren’s striking skills are limited compared to some in the MMA world, he’ll still represent Paul’s toughest challenge yet. For that reason alone, Paul vs. Askren seems on paper to be a compelling matchup that will garner interest from people all over the world.

READ NEXT: 13 Potential Fights for Conor McGregor After UFC 257

Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel

Read More
, ,