A skilled wrestler, Ben Askren started his mixed martial arts career in 2009. Even though most of Ben Askren's victories came via submissions or judges' decisions, the former ONE and Bellator welterweight champion defeated five opponents with punches during his MMA career.
The decision to transition from wrestling to MMA happened after his disappointing performance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Although Ben Askren had a Pan-American gold and was the NCAA double champion, he could not compete at the Olympic level.
"I just wasn't good enough. I sucked," said Ben Askren after his round-of-8 elimination at the 2008 Olympics to Cuba's Ivan Fundora.
Ben Askren was unbeaten with a solid record of 19-2-1 in his MMA career until joining the UFC in 2019. However, MMA fans worldwide will remember his loss forever.
After defeating Robbie Lawler in his UFC debut, Ben Askren was matched up against Jorge Masvidal. To Ben Askren's embarrassment, the fight lasted only five seconds after Masvidal connected with a flying knee to the head in the first movement of the duel - the fastest knockout in UFC's history.
Is Ben Askren good at boxing?
Ben Askren's first-ever win competing as a mixed martial artist came after knocking Josh Flowers out with punches at a small defunct American fighting promotion. "Funky" repeated the feat four other times in his MMA career, but it would be a long way until it happened again.
Eleven fights into his MMA career, with a Bellator welterweight championship under his belt, Ben Askren sent Andrey Koreshkov to the canvas with punches in his last appearance with the promotion. That was Ben Askren's fourth title defense.
From Bellator, Ben Askren joined Singapore fighting promotion ONE. After making a successful debut, "Funky" got himself a title shot against then-champion Nobutatsu Suzuki - you guessed it, another knockout via punches.
The more experience he got in mixed martial arts, the more boxing became part of Ben Askren's fight game. His sparring evolution turned evident as "Funky" had to face fighters with different styles, against which he could not always impose his wrestling.
Ben Askren's final two fights with ONE ended with punches. He successfully defended his welterweight title against Zebaztian Kadestam and Shinya Aoki using his hands, both in 2017.
Ben Askren versus Jake Paul
Ben Askren joined the UFC in 2019, going on to have three fights with the promotion - one win and two losses. He retired at the end of the same year due to problems with his hip. Planning to compete at combat sports again, Ben Askren accepted Jake Paul's challenge to a boxing match.
The two will enter the ring on April 17, 2021. Ben Askren has never competed in a boxing match, while Jake Paul accumulates two wins in two fights. However, Jake Paul never fought a combat sports professional.
Who do you think will win this boxing match between Jake Paul and Ben Askren? Sound off in the comments.