Ben Askren is ready for the taunts he will face after being knocked out by Jake Paul.
Coming out of retirement and spending three months in training, the former Bellator and ONE champion didn’t even make it to the two-minute mark after Paul punched him with a monstrous right hand in the first round. Askren fell to the canvas, and even though he got to his feet before the 10th count ended, the referee would not let him continue.
After that, Askren did not justify his loss and drew criticism, which will undoubtedly come in his direction.
“Probably deserved it,” Askren said when asked about the ridicule he would receive after the loss. “Because I got knocked out by Jake Paul. This is awkward as hell.
“I have not failed the MMA community, I have failed the world. People hate Jake Paul as hell and want to see me make him miserable, and I didn’t. So I didn’t let the MMA community down, I let the world down. ”
Askren barely had time to do anything in his duel with Paul before his right hand placed him on the canvas during an early exchange. The former Olympic wrestler did try to grab Paul to negate his opponent’s size and advantage, but the referee quickly ripped them apart when this happened.
He also acknowledged the mistake he made when Paul was making his combinations, which ultimately led to the knockout blow.
“I heard my coach Mike [Rhodes] he said that I was definitely overreacting to his feints, and that was the beginning of the end, ”Askren said. “I probably shouldn’t have reacted so strongly to feints. If this judge let me fight a little more, it might help a little, but in the end, no excuses. I was in a fucking boxing match and it didn’t go so well. “
Although Askren complained about being stopped in the ring, he did not take ill will towards the referee for giving up the fight after being knocked down alone.
“I thought I was okay, but whatever it was, it’s his job,” Askren said. “If this is what he felt, so he did.”
In the run-up to the fight, Askren and Paul engaged in nasty verbal conversations, not to mention a few flashy social media posts.
By the time they clashed on Saturday night, the personal animosity seemed to have settled, but generally boxers and MMAs can leave the rivalry behind after the fight is over.
That doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to Askren’s feelings for Paul, at least in regards to his legitimacy as a true fighter.
“No, I do not [respect him]- Askren said. “Because I want to see how he got into a fight. I’m sorry I let you down, I didn’t fight him. He hit me early. As I said, this is when you respect someone, when you see what they are made of.
“I was hoping you guys would see this tonight and I have let a lot of people down. They didn’t see it. “
For his part, Askren has no plans to test himself in the boxing ring again, let alone return to MMA, and it looks like his life won’t change much for him right now, except that his bank account will grow exponentially. …
“I’ll take about a million dollars home to the bank and train wrestling,” Askren said. “I really don’t care. There’s a pizza waiting in my hotel room. I’m going to eat this. I’m going to fly home and talk to the kids tomorrow, and I’ll probably be in wrestling practice on Monday. “
After this event, Paul was not ready to mess with any future opponents after going 3-0 in his career, but if he wants to fight another MMA fighter, Askren has an offer.
“I would love Tyrone [Woodley] to get him up, ”Askren said of the former UFC champion sitting in his corner Saturday night. “Tyrone wants to fight Oscar De La Hoya, but I would like Tyrone to fight Jake Paul. I mean, he’s a much better boxer than me. That would be my boyfriend. “