Ben Askren vs. Jake Paul is happening.
The former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion has agreed to fight Paul, a popular YouTube star who has ventured into the world of boxing, in an eight-round pro boxing bout at a Triller Fight Club event that will take place on April 17. A location for the event is still to be determined.
Askren and Paul announced the fight on their social media accounts following an initial report from ESPN, citing Triller founder Ryan Kavanaugh. The two had been publicly discussing a bout since November, prior to Paul’s viral KO of longtime NBA veteran Nate Robinson at the Tyson vs. Jones Jr. event on Nov. 28.
A weight class has not been finalized for the bout yet.
Paul’s statement on social media is as follows:
It’s official. Representing the UFC, Mr. Napoleon Dynamite look-alike Ben Askren finally accepted the fight. He 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, yet, I’m still going to knock him out faster than Masvidal did.
Some guys think because they throw punches they know how to box. I shocked the world when I [knocked out] an NBA superstar athlete, but some people still complained that he’s not a real fighter.
So now I’m giving the people what they want by taking on a real fighter.
After I add Ben to my knockout meme collection, what can anybody say? April 17th. 82 days. The countdown starts now. Be ready.
In response, Askren wrote, “It’s cute that Jake thinks he is a real fighter. I’m gonna beat him up April 17.”
Askren has not competed since losing by submission to Demian Maia at a UFC event on Oct. 26. He retired with a pro MMA record of 19-2 and one no contest.
This will be Paul’s third pro boxing bout. He made his debut in January 2020 with a first-round TKO of social media personality “AnEsonGib.”