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Why are Jake Paul and Ben Askren fighting?  Call lured former MMA champion out of retirement

Jake Paul will look to improve his boxing record to 3-0 on April 17 when he steps into the ring with former MMA champion Ben Askren on Triller’s Fight Club.

Paul started his professional boxing career in January 2020 with a first round knockout against fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib. He followed that up with a knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson in November on Mike Tyson’s lower card against Roy Jones. This will be Paul’s first time in the ring with a veteran.

Askren is a two-time National Division I wrestling champion who became a Bellator and ONE Championship champion before ending his mixed martial arts career in the UFC. He amassed a 19-2 record before retiring from the sport in November 2018.

How did a fight between a YouTuber and a former MMA champion go?

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Why are Jake Paul and Jake Paul fighting?

Before and after his second round knockout of former NBA player Nate Robinson last November, Jake Paul called on several MMA fighters to step into a boxing ring with him. Among them were Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Dillon Danis, Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren. While some have suggested a fight on social media, only recently retired Askren made it clear that he would be more than willing to meet the YouTube celebrity for a fight.

“Boxing sounds pretty easy,” Askren told Submission Radio of the possibility of stepping into the ring after hip surgery. “Like, I’m sure I could do that. Like, there are no hits, there are no slaps, there are no leg locks. I don’t know, it seems relatively safe to me.

Askren was not impressed with Paul’s knockout of Robinson and said he was sure he would fare much better than Robinson and AnEsonGib, a YouTuber Paul stopped in the first round last January.

“It’s hard to tell when you’re going against someone who is so bad,” Askren said. “I watched the highlights, Nate Robinson, damn it. I mean, honestly, it looked like he had never boxed before. For someone who is an elite athlete – I mean this guy is a very elite athlete, he was a great basketball player – he couldn’t box worth it.

“Obviously I’m someone who is a top fighter, who has a big following, who maybe wasn’t known for his stand-up. I think that’s probably what he thinks.

After a bit of back-and-forth on social media, it was announced that Paul would return to the ring in April for a bout on Triller against Askren in an eight-round cruiserweight bout.

Since the fight was announced, the two have escalated their social media feud with Paul dragging Askren’s wife into the feud. The feud flared up at a press conference in March where words were exchanged and it almost turned physical during the downcast gaze.

The two have vowed to knock out the other but only one will emerge victorious on April 17th.

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