Ben Askren shuts down criticism of his striking skills and explains the reason behind its peculiarity

Ben Askren (left) has often been the recipient of harsh criticism for his striking skills.
Ben Askren (left) has often been the recipient of harsh criticism for his striking skills.

Ben Askren has shut down criticism of his striking skills and explained the reasoning behind its peculiarity in a recent podcast appearance with Logan Paul.

A former Olympic wrestler who’s held the welterweight title in reputable MMA organizations like ONE Championship and Bellator, Ben Askren also competed in the UFC.

Askren retired from the sport of MMA after going 1-2 in the UFC. He’s now set to make his professional boxing debut against YouTube megastar Jake Paul.

During his appearance on Jake Paul’s older brother, Logan Paul’s, Impaulsive podcast, Ben Askren opened up on a myriad of topics. Logan Paul and podcast co-hosts Mike Majlak and George Janko asserted their support for Jake Paul and suggested that Askren is likely to lose their upcoming fight.

Mike Majlak asked Ben Askren how he plans on going from being a grappling specialist in MMA to competing in a strictly striking contest. Majlak noted that Askren has been training under the guidance of one of the world's best boxing trainers, Freddie Roach.

Majlak then proceeded to claim that from what he’s seen of Ben Askren’s sparring footage, it appears that Askren is punching as slowly as one would punch in their dreams.

Majlak added, however, that he did consider the possibility that Askren could be punching slow in his videos as he’s probably focusing more on technique rather than throwing a punch at the speed he’d do in an actual fight.

Ben Askren responded by stating –

“People punch in their dreams? I never had that dream…I’m just curious. I never had that dream. I can’t relate to you right now.”

Ben Askren proceeded to ask Impaulsive host Logan Paul, as well as Paul’s co-hosts Mike Majlak and George Janko, “You guys all have these dreams?”

Mika Majlak then pointed out that when one watches Jake Paul’s training and sparring sessions, it’s evident that Paul has the snappiness, form and skills one would expect from an individual who’s been training boxing for three years. Ben Askren responded by explaining –

“Well, I look pretty funny at everything I do, I think. Yes. So, even I would go back to my college career, I had a coach I coached with – Brian Stenner, Arizona State. And he was a little older than me, and he kind of got out of the game. He has a Ph.D., so he got out of the game. And then we coached together. And he said, ‘Hey, Ben, I’ve never really seen you wrestle too much. You got some film?’ I said, ‘Sure’. And I gave him a highlight tape. And the next day, he came to me and said, ‘Everything you do is wrong. How did you win so many matches?’ And it’s like, I mean, that’s just kind of; I’ve got used to that, right?”
“Everyone thinks what I do looks strange and funny. And then all of a sudden, I’m in front of them, and they’re like, ‘Oh, this guy won’t f**king go away’. Like, this is way harder than I thought it was going to be. And so, I think there’s a lot of that. I was the slowest guy on my college wrestling team. I’m very, very slow twitch. So, you’re not offending me by saying I’m slow. I already know that. I’ve known that for a very long time.”

Intriguingly, it’s well-known in the MMA community that Ben Askren’s nickname ‘Funky’ stems from his funky and unorthodox style of wrestling. On that note, Askren’s striking too has often been labeled as unorthodox.

Although his funky wrestling and overall grappling skills have earned him widespread praise, his striking hasn’t. Some fans and experts have gone as far as criticizing him for what they believe is his rudimentary striking.

Check out here: Things you need to know about Ben Askren's Wife

Ben Askren and Mike Majlak feel it’d be interesting to see how Jake Paul reacts against an experienced pro fighter like Askren

Jake Paul (left); Ben Askren (right)
Jake Paul (left); Ben Askren (right)

Mike Majlak notably pointed out that there’s been a lot of speculation regarding how Ben Askren would react to competing in a boxing match – a pure striking contest in which he won’t be allowed to take his opponent to the ground.

Majlak added that he’s more interested in seeing how Jake Paul reacts to someone who may not go down with a good right hand or who’d bring the fight to Jake rather than wait for the latter to strike first. Ben Askren concurred and said –

“Sure. I agree with you.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)

Ben Askren is scheduled to face Jake Paul in an eight-round professional boxing match that’ll headline a fight card featuring several other boxing bouts as well. The event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 17th, 2021.

Find out here: Ben Askren's Career Earnings

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Edited by Zaid Khan
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