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Morning Report: Ben Askren reveals reason he took Jake Paul boxing match, makes prediction for Nate Diaz fight

Triller Fight Club: Jake Paul v Ben Askren Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for Triller

Ben Askren intended on being the one to end the Jake Paul experiment before it truly began.

Paul officially entered the boxing world in January 2020 as a professional. It was looked to be purely a celebrity or freakshow stint with “The Problem Child” first knocking out his fellow influencer Ali Eson Gib and former NBA player Nate Robinson. However, Paul then enticed the likes of former MMA champions, starting with Askren.

“Funky” was one of the very best wrestlers in the sport during his 22-fight MMA career. Unfortunately, that was exposed to the highest degree in his final two combat sports appearances opposite Demian Maia in the octagon and Paul in the ring.

Paul will next face another UFC veteran Nate Diaz in his next time out on August 5. Watching Paul amass a 6-1 record, Askren is done doubting his final foe.

“I got to imagine [he beats Diaz],” Askren said on Daniel Cormier’s YouTube channel. “I didn’t think Jake Paul would beat Tyron [Woodley] or Anderson Silva. So yeah, I kind of think so. It sounded like fun [to box him] and I hoped he sucked. We didn’t know at that point! At that point, he only boxed a comedian or something and a basketball player. So we didn’t know nothing. I thought, ‘Oh, hopefully, this dude’s just a bum. He’s gonna try and hit me hard for a round, he’s gonna get tired, then I’m gonna beat him up.’ We didn’t know he was any good.”

Once done with Diaz, Paul hopes to parlay a potential win into a high-profile affair with MMA’s biggest star Conor McGregor. The tie between the three would then be McGregor’s rivalry with Diaz in UFC, where the two are 1-1 with McGregor winning their rematch via an August 2016 majority decision.

Assuming McGregor is willing and able to take his second career boxing match against Paul, Askren sees it paying off for all involved.

“Yeah, I did [make more money fighting Paul],” Askren said. “I think McGregor times Jake Paul makes everyone a lot of money and I think if he beats up Nate Diaz it makes a lot of sense. I don’t know what Conor’s contract is or what his relationship is with UFC where he can go get it done but I think a lot of people buy that fight. I think there’s a lot of casual fans who just want to see a boxing match and you know what, Jake Paul’s actually not bad at boxing, and maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better potentially, but he did beat Tyron, he did beat Anderson Silva.”


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Fair enough, Ben. Fair enough.

Happy Friday, everyone. See you, Monday. Thanks for reading!



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