Internet personality Jake Paul added another victim to his boxing list when he knocked out retired MMA fighter Ben Askren last Saturday. However, the result of the fight was found suspect by some people and notably by former UFC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier.
Cormier raised that Askren’s post-fight reaction of having a good laugh is indicative that there is more to the fight than meets the eye.
Askren rejected the notion that he intentionally lost the fight, per Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report. The former Bellator and ONE Welterweight Champion told Ariel Helwani of ESPN that no such thing would happen.
“I think in fact I would lose a lot,” Askren remarked. “That’s not something that would ever cross my mind. I wanted people to throw overhand rights because that’s generally the easiest punch to get a takedown off of.”
Apparently, the decades of wrestling both freestyle and in MMA could not be overridden in preparation for a boxing contest. Ben Askren did admit that Jake Paul’s overhand right was solid.
Even at his prime, Askren was known primarily for using his Olympic-level wrestling to put matches away. His standup game was a facet of his style that was always well behind his grappling. It showed in the fight against Paul, as he got knocked out in the first round.
Askren enjoyed a $500,000 payday for the fight, which is the highest mark he has earned in his career. This amount does not take into consideration sponsorship deals and possible pay-per-view percentages.