Former MMA fighter Ben Askren says his number one motivation behind accepting the fight with YouTube star-turned boxer Jake Paul was money, but he says he still took his training seriously, despite rumors on social media that the fight seemed fixed.
Askren said during an appearance on the “Louder with Crowder” podcast Monday that he stayed off of social media the day after the fight and was “disappointed” following Saturday’s loss to Paul where he was knocked out in the first few minutes of the first round. But despite what a vast majority of viewers thought, he put serious work into preparing for this fight.
BEN ASKREN’S REACTION POST-MATCH GOES VIRAL AFTER GETTING KNOCKED OUT BY JAKE PAUL
“Some people don’t think I took it seriously, and here’s the thing: When I took the fight, I said No. 1 for the money, No. 2 I think this could be a good time,” he said.
“I used to box with my friends in high school just for fun. And I trained hard for 11 weeks. I didn’t miss a practice, and it just didn’t go my way.”
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Askren said his downfall was not listening to the advice of his trainers during the fight.
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“We knew he had a good overhand right, and I’m a dumba–, and I didn’t block it,” he explained. “My defense was a little too loose. I heard my coaches, both Tyron (Woodley) and ‘Biggie’ (Mike Rhodes), were saying stop reacting to his fakes, and I didn’t, and I paid the price.”
The 36-year-old former Bellator champion made $ 500,000 in Saturday’s fight, according to MMAFighting.com, but Paul said in an Instagram that the fight brought in 1.5 million pay-per-view buys, generating $ 75 million in revenue.