Former Bellator, ONE welterweight champion and UFC veteran Ben Askren is set to fight Jake Paul on April 17 in a pay-per-view main event headliner.
The fight will take place at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
This will be Ben Askren’s debut in the professional boxing world as he takes on Jake Paul who is 2-0. Jake Paul is coming off of a spectacular knockout victory over former NBA star Nate Robinson in a boxing match. Prior to that, he knocked out British YouTuber AnEsonGib during Superbowl week in Miami last year.
On the other hand, Ben Askren retired from the sport, after suffering a submission loss to Demian Maia at UFC Singapore in October of 2019. Prior to that, he suffered a brutal KO loss to Jorge Masvidal. His run in the UFC wasn’t like the one he had in ONE Championship and Bellator MMA.
Since retiring from the sport, Askren had a hip replacement surgery and has been recovering, but he couldn’t miss the opportunity to headline an event against Jake Paul, which would also undoubtedly mean a big payday.
Ben Askren training under Freddie Roach
Ben Askren who has never fought as a professional boxer has bought in legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach to help him prepare for Jake Paul. Freddie Roach was also once the trainer of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
“I’m trying to be as good of a boxer as I can,” Ben Askren told MMA Junkie Radio. “I’m not under the impression that I’m gonna be a pro boxer. I’ve been top 10 in the world in four different sports. I know what it’s like to be world class. I’m not gonna be a world-class boxer, but I don’t gotta be a world-class boxer. I just gotta beat up Jake freaking Paul. That ain’t gonna be that hard, guys.”
“I’m only in L.A. for a week, so I’m gonna get as much as I can out of Freddie Roach,” Askren said. “I’m gonna pick his brain. So I started training, maybe six weeks it’s been. First couple of weeks was just like strength and conditioning, let me get back in shape because I couldn’t really start training until Dec. 1 because of my hip surgery. I couldn’t do anything until Dec. 1.
“So it’s like, ‘Hey let’s get back in shape,’ so I did a couple of weeks strength and conditioning. I was working with Duke (Roufus) and ‘Cush’ (striking coach Scott Cushman) and Mike Rhodes, former UFC fighter, old teammate who’s been helping me a bunch. And then I brought in this guy ‘K9’ Cornelius Bundrage from Detroit. He reached out on Twitter. He’s been really good. It’s been a lot of fun. So I brought him in twice for a week and I took Sunday off, but before that, I had boxed 18 out of 19 days.” Ben Askren said. (H/T – MMAJunkie.com)