Ben Askren seems to have boiled down his loss to Jake Paul to one very simple reason.
The former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion came out of retirement and hip surgery to take on the YouTube sensation in a highly-publicized bout this past Saturday. The result could not have gone much worse for Askren, as he was stopped within the first two minutes of the fight.
Askren has since vowed to stay off social media to avoid the seemingly endless string of negativity and verbal abuse that has been aimed his way since the loss. However, he did appear on the ‘Louder with Crowder‘ podcast to address the fight and the fallout (H/T MMA Junkie).
“I’m disappointed. … I saw people don’t think I took it seriously, and here’s the thing: When I took the fight, I said No. 1 for the money, No. 2 I think this could be a good time,” Askren said on Monday. “I used to box with my friends in high school just for fun. And I trained hard for 11 weeks. I didn’t miss a practice, and it just didn’t go my way.”
It appears that, more than anything, Askren is bothered the thought that the finish could have been avoided if he listened to the advice of Tyron Woodley and Mike Rhodes in his corner.
“We knew he had a good overhand right, and I’m a dumbass, and I didn’t block it,” Askren said. “My defense was a little too loose. I heard my coaches, both Tyron and ‘Biggie,’ were saying stop reacting to his fakes, and I didn’t, and I paid the price.”
Being knocked-out by a YouTube personality obviously isn’t a good look for a former professional fighter. Having it happen in less time than it took Paul to knockout a former basketball player is even worse. Add in the amount of trash talk the two shared in the lead-up to the fight, and it probably cuts to the bone.
Despite all of that, Askren says he has no regrets about stepping into the ring one last time.
“I think one of the things that really separates me from a lot of people is, like, I could’ve very easily sat on my couch and said I don’t want to do that because there’s a potential I’ll be embarrassed,” Askren said. “That would be the only reason I wouldn’t have done it. There’s no other valid reason, and I said I’m gonna do it, so f— it.”
Do you think Ben Askren took the fight against Jake Paul seriously?