Jake Paul may be a social influencer with millions of followers and millions of more views on his YouTube videos but Ben Askren hasn’t been impressed when it comes to his ability to promote a fight.
While the fight that will headline the Triller pay-per-view on Saturday night came together largely thanks to a war of words between Askren and Paul through interviews and over social media, the former UFC contender has not seen the same kind of fire from his opponent since the contracts were signed.
In fact, Askren believes he should probably receive a bonus check from the promoters after he’s continuously hyped up this fight while Paul is falling short on his end of the deal.
“I actually think we should probably have our contracts reversed,” Askren said during the Triller Fight Club media day. “I’m sure Jake’s getting some sort of pay-per-view bonus and I’m carrying the f**king promotion of this fight. Jake ain’t promoting sh*t.
“Go look at Fight Hub TV, Jake’s got 50,000 views and I’ve got 1.2 million. Triller, maybe they can send me a couple million dollar bonus because the promotion of this fight has been squarely on my shoulders. Jake’s not doing his job.”
While Paul obviously has his own fanbase, there’s also a rather large and vocal segment of people who would revel in his downfall and that could certainly help drive pay-per-view sales as well.
Askren feels like that’s probably the case, especially after his old boss plunked down a $1 million bet while guaranteeing that he’ll beat Paul on Saturday night.
“Jake Paul is tremendous in the fact that he even made Dana White like me,” Askren joked. “That’s years. That took years to make that happen so good job Jake Paul.”
Throughout his mixed martial arts career, Askren was regarded as one of the better trash talkers in the sport and he never had a problem giving his opinion on an opponent or any topic related to the fight game.
After signing for this fight, the former Olympic wrestler has continuously dunked on Paul through verbal warfare but nothing said in return has really caught his attention much less managed to actually rattle him.
“Frankly, it’s been a bloodbath if we’re talking trash talk,” Askren said. “It’s not even a 10-8, it’s more like a 10-7. I don’t think we’ve seen a 10-6 in mixed martial arts but something like that. This guy only picks the lowest hanging fruit because his audience’s average age is 13 1/2.
“The lowest hanging fruit isn’t going to work against me. You’re going to have to come with something creative or something intelligent and he just lacks the ability to do so.”
In response, Paul only had to look at one particular comment from Askren where he acknowledged that this fight will be the single biggest payday of his career to know that he must be doing something right with promotion.
“This guy has 21 fights right and all of a sudden this is the biggest payday of his career. There’s a reason for that,” Paul said. “Ben Askren had his d*ck in his hand in Wisconsin, not doing sh*t. I brought him out of retirement, revived his career. So I think it’s hilarious that he thinks that. He’s under these bright lights in front of you because of me.
“I could have picked anybody to be in Ben Askren’s position and everyone that I fight becomes a global superstar for 15 minutes. Then I knock them out and no one ever talks about them again. So Ben Askren can think what he wants. He’s got about 48 hours left until no one talks about him anymore.”