Ben Askren is not one to mince words when it comes to his thoughts on the biggest stories in MMA and combat sports in general, and that wasn’t any different following his teammate and friend Tyron Woodley‘s loss to Jake Paul in a boxing match over the weekend.
Askren is a longtime training partner of Woodley, including when the two of them were in the UFC together. Askren fought Paul earlier this year and suffered a first-round knockout, which ended up being the first chapter to the story behind the Woodley-Paul rivalry.
After a couple of days of reflection, Askren posted his thoughts on Paul’s win over Woodley and gave insight as to why he felt Woodley won, as well as the rationale behind giving Paul the decision win.
“I thought [Woodley] won, I had it score 5-3,” Askren said in an Instagram post. “He was more aggressive and landed more critical punches, but Paul has definitely gained my respect. I wanted [Woodley] to knock his head off, but he didn’t get it done.”
“It was a really competitive bout and I think it’s pretty evident that Paul has worked hard at this. I think the rematch happens because going from the level that Paul is at to a world-champion level is a long way off. It makes too much sense and there’s a backstory.”
A majority of the fans, including Askren, who watched the bout had Woodley winning, but the boxing experts who called the fight had Paul winning in a pretty convincing decision. An argument can be made that Woodley dealt the most damage, but Paul easily won the battle in terms of volume landed.
After both fighters gave a loosely-made verbal agreement on a rematch, it appears that it makes the most sense moving forward. It sounds like the rivalry between Woodley and Paul doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. The friendship between Askren and Woodley appears to be a strong bond, and it seems like his thoughts do hold some merit on whether or not a rematch happens.
How did you score Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley? Do you think a rematch will happen?