Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren – Internet Celebrity vs MMA Star
Arguably one of the most bizarre encounters you are likely to see in the boxing ring, Jake Paul against Ben Askren sees a YouTube celebrity turned professional boxer, take on a former MMA star and wrestler. This fight will take place on April 14 in Atlanta, Georgia, with a huge online audience expected.
When you have someone who rose to fame on the internet against a renowned fighter who has taken on the toughest the UFC has to offer, it’s only natural to think this kind of circus event would conclude with just one winner. Nevertheless, the latest Jake Paul vs Ben Askren odds have the internet celebrity tipped as the favorite.
Boasting more than 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, Jake Paul initially rose to fame on the now defunct video application Vine, alongside his brother Logan Paul. Along with being an internet personality, he went on to become a rapper and an actor, starring in the TV show Bizaardvark before being fired after a variety of controversies.
Both of the brothers have become increasingly famed of late for their boxing antics. This all started when Logan Paul took on fellow YouTuber KSI in an amateur bout in August 2018, which ended in a draw. Jake Paul fought KSI’s brother Deji on the undercard, winning via a TKO in the fifth round.
The first professional bout for Jake Paul came against another YouTube celebrity, with a TKO victory against AnEsonGib in the first round. The biggest bout to date was part of the undercard for the Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. exhibition match, which took place in July 2020. Jake Paul took on former pro basketball player Nate Robinson, winning via knockout in the second round.
Following plenty of smack-talk on social media between the two, Jake Paul and Ben Askren finally agreed to meet inside the boxing ring. However, not everyone is convinced the 24-year-old internet celebrity will win. UFC President Dana White claims he would bet $1 million on Ben Askren winning, although a confident Jake Paul said he would double that bet.
If there’s a fighter who has taken everything that professional MMA can throw at him, it’s Ben Askren, who started his path to success as a wrestler. He was part of the US Olympic team and a Pan American freestyle wrestling champion, an exceptional folkstyle wrestler who won the NCAA Division I national championship twice, and a submission wrestling world champion.
Already famed for his fearsome grappling ability, Ben Askren had all the tools to take on a different kind of fighting challenge, making his professional MMA debut in 2009. After firmly establishing himself in Bellator and the ONE Championship, boasting a perfect 19-0 unbeaten record, Askren was signed up for the UFC and won his first fight against Robbie Lawler with a bulldog choke.
From there, it all started to head south for Ben Askren, who was demolished in just five seconds by Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239, beaten instantly by the flying knee of his rival. The next bout against Demian Maia in October 2019 didn’t fare any better, as Ben Askren lost a second consecutive UFC bout.
Despite not being known for his boxing abilities, which were actually considered one of the weaker points of his UFC fighting style, Ben Askren fancies his chances against the internet celebrity upstart, after being challenged by Jake Paul. However this one turns out, it will certainly make for interesting viewing.