The UFC's newest star Michael Chandler predicts that Ben Askren will knock Jake Paul out in the seventh round of their upcoming scrap. The former Bellator champion and UFC fighter will face YouTube sensation Jake Paul in an eight-round professional boxing match on April 17.
Michael Chandler made a spectacular debut at UFC 257 by knocking out New Zealander Dan Hooker, who's known to sport one of the hardest chins in UFC. While Chandler looks to make his way for a title shot, he's also aiding Ben Askren in his preparation for the fight against Jake Paul.
Ben Askren, an erstwhile welterweight champion in Bellator and One championship, accepted a challenge from Jake Paul. Askren has never been in a professional boxing match before, while it will be the third time that the younger Paul sibling will step into the ring. However, Jake Paul has never fought a professional boxer, and both his victories have come against amateurs like basketball star Nate Robinson.
Despite 'Funky' having had a legitimate career in combat sports, Jake Paul goes into the bout as the favorite, according to several bookmakers. This perception stems from the striking exhibited by Ben Askren throughout his MMA career.
Why is Michael Chandler backing Ben Askren?
In an interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Chandler accepted that striking isn't Ben Askren's forté but 'Iron' has absolute confidence in Funky's clinch and dirty boxing. Other fighters and analysts have also agreed that Ben Askren's endurance and stamina, complemented by his fighting experience, could heavily influence the contest's odds.
However, the former Olympian wrestler was never known for his stand-up game, and Chandler has predicted he won't knock out 'The Problem Child' until the seventh round. Chandler suggests that Ben Askren close the distance in this bout, allowing him to put his MMA skills to use. This view also tallies with Ben Askren's prediction. He confessed that he doesn't possess knock-out power and will need to wear his opponent down.
Jake Paul on the other hand is absolutely confident that Ben Askren will barely be able to tag him.