Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Despite being retired from professional fighting, Ben Askren has been a busy man as of late. Balancing time between coaching wrestling, managing his Crypto/Bitcoin investments and keeping up with the combat-sports world.

The Former ONE Championship and Bellator champion as well as UFC welterweight contender sat down with MMA Island’s Maddie Levine to discuss the recent events around past opponent, Jake Paul.

Thoughts on Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley II

Being a former teammate and training partner of Tyron Woodley, Ben Askren had an inherent interest in the rematch that went down on December 18th of last year. If this was not already enough, Askren’s last pro-loss in combat-sports came to Paul in a boxing match – which Woodley now had a second opportunity to avenge for not only Ben, but himself.

This investment however, was not strong enough to overcome the exhaustion that comes with long day of coaching wrestling, which Askren explained, led him to miss the bout.

“I really wanted to (watch the fight) because I love Tyron.” Askren told MMA Island. “I had to wake up super early to go to a wrestling tournament and I frickin’ fell asleep on the couch. I think I had to wake up at 05:30 to go coach that morning. I was kinda watching and fell asleep then I woke up to the bad news – unfortunately.”

A tiresome day may have taken him out, but Askren made it clear that he had the upmost faith in his teammate, especially after how close the first fight was, which Jake won by via split decision.

“I thought Tyron was going to (get the job done). The first bout was obviously really competitive.”

The outcome for his own fight with Paul, nor the ones for his teammate Woodley were obviously not the ones desired. If anything is clear from recent interviews though, it is that neither man seems at all dispirited.

Askren’s Own Fight with Paul

Speaking on Woodley’s recent fight with Paul, the conversation naturally flowed onto his own boxing match with ‘The Problem Child’. Askren took the opportunity to clarify where he stood going into the fight.

“Everyone always misquotes me. I said ‘Listen if this dude sucks I’m going to whoop him, but if he’s really good – It’s going to be a tough night for me.’ I was very realistic about what my boxing skill was. Turns out he doesn’t suck – unfortunately. That would’ve been very nice.”

There is no denying that going into the fight there was no clear idea on how skilled Jake actually was, yet Askren took the fight regardless. This awareness that Askren possesses speaks volumes to his mindset and thought process which allowed him to take such losses on the chin. Something which he also discussed at length in the interview.

Chances of Anderson Silva beating Jake Paul

One of the biggest names circulating as Jake’s next opponent is none other than former 10x UFC middleweight champion, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva. Silva’s exit from the UFC in 2020 was somewhat unceremonious, being TKOd by Uriah Hall in the 4th round of their main event fight.

Just when the world believed it was over for ‘The Spider’, he was booked in a boxing match against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Silva entered the fight a large underdog, yet pulled off the impossible and beat Chavez Jr. by split decision. He has since knocked out former UFC champ Tito Ortiz in the ring.

Silva has opened up as a front-runner to face Paul next, according to betting odds. However, the potential fight doesn’t look to be happening anytime soon.

When asked how Silva would fare against Paul in a boxing match, Askren gave Brazilian credit where due, revealing that he would favor the former middleweight champion if they were to box.

“Anderson Silva looked great in his one boxing match he did. It was against a guy who had a significant amount of boxing experience so I’d say yeah – I would think so.”

He went on to say that if Silva did lose, a lot can be said for the boxing skills of Jake Paul.

“If Anderson can’t do it, sh*t then. Then Jake Paul is pretty damn good.”

Grudges

Elaborating off of the idea that Paul is not as bad a boxer as people want him to be, Askren explained that at this point in his life he is past the point of holding grudges or wasting mental energy on things out of his control. He cited the instance of a college wrestling coach speaking ill of him, as well as not recruiting him.

“I really kinda like held a grudge for a while. Then after a while I realized that this was f*cking stupid, I’m wasting my time and energy holding a grudge against someone and it’s not benefitting me at all. So many people hold grudges and hope for things to happen of which they have no control over. And so what I’ve tried to do in my life is if there is something I do not have control over, I don’t think about it. I don’t think about it.”

Agreeing that implementing this mindset is easier said than done, he did admit that he would gain some form of satisfaction in of seeing Paul finally hit the mat for the first time in his career.

“Listen if he keeps winning I got no control over that. Would I love to see him get knocked out? Yeah that’d be kinda funny. But I genuinely don’t think about it and he seems to be having some success – unfortunately.”

By Ben Matthews

Aspiring journalist in the UK. Currently studying for a degree in Journalism and Publishing from BSU.

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