Ben Askren is set to face Youtube star Jake Paul for an eight-round boxing match under the Triller Fight Club banner. Adding to the list of MMA pundits commenting on the issue, GSP's coach Firas Zahabi was also seen weighing in on the fight. Predicting Ben Askren as the winner, Firas Zahabi said in an interview with Fight CAT:
"Look, I think Ben Askren wins. And here’s why…okay I’ve seen Jake Paul’s last fight, he knocked out a guy with a couple of overhand rights, stunned him a few times, dropped him. But here’s what Jake Paul is not sure…I don’t think he knows what he is getting into. Number 1, Ben Askren is a wrestler, yes and his forte is not striking. We all know that, he’s not the greatest striker. But he’s been in there with killers. He’s been in there with legitimately dangerous human beings, one of them being Robbie Lawler, Douglas Lima, I can go on and on, the list is super long."
Talking about Ben Askren's bout with Robbie Lawler, Zahabi further added:
"He’s been in there with real killers. And I know he didn’t use his boxing but he took shots from these guys. Okay, not everyone of them got to lay a shot on him but if you remember the fight with Robbie Lawler, Robbie Lawler had Ben Askren on the floor and he laid into him some serious amount of damage. Pop-pop-pop, four, five, six, seven shots maybe, I can’t remember. But it was some serious shots and Ben Askren, never wavering, never panicking, gets his underhooks, gets back, locks up to Robbie, brings him down on the mat, just keeps the computer still working."
Firas Zahabi believes Ben Askren is working on his striking
According to MMA coach, Firas Zahabi, the criticism of Ben Askren's striking has been taken a notch too high. Expressing his confidence in the former UFC fighter, Zahabi said:
“If you ask a wrestler, ‘Hey, can you knit this for me?’ No, he doesn’t know how to knit. But he has boxed before. I think people are making too much of a deal out of it to say, ‘Oh he’s a wrestler, he’s going into boxing’. Yes, there’s some truth to that but don’t forget there’s the other side of the coin. The man’s been training MMA, he is not crazy, he’s been learning how to strike.”