The much-hyped match between YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul and former MMA star Ben Askren finally went down last night, and it did not go well for Askren or fans hoping for a prolonged and competitive fight. The social media superstar knocked his opponent down with a pretty good right hand less than two minutes into the first round, and while the match didn’t go as planned, Askren at least won some people over in the press conference afterwards.
The longtime wrestler engaged with members of the media after the fight and was extremely candid, at least from my perspective. He answered questions from a variety of outlets and basically said he was disappointed in himself and felt like he let people down, but he was going to go home to his family with a check in his pocket and get back to coaching wrestling. At one point, he was asked about undeserved ridicule he’ll probably face after the Jake Paul knockout and he offered this really blunt gem...
It’s probably deserved. I got knocked out by Jake Paul. It’s fucking embarrassing.
Heading into the match, Jake Paul had more than his share of skeptics. The twenty-four year old has looked good in his boxing matches so far, but beating other YouTubers and KOing retired NBA player Nate Robinson weren’t going to convince skeptics. Many within the industry thought Ben Askren, even though his background is in wrestling and MMA and not boxing, would provide the first real pushback for Paul. Clearly that didn’t happen.
During the post-fight presser after he gave the hilariously blunt answer above, Askren was asked if he felt like he let the whole MMA community down, as many, including UFC head Dana White, were convinced he would take it to Paul. Askren’s answer was very self-deprecating and extremely direct to the point where the quote is currently working its way around social media. Check it out...
I didn’t let the MMA community down. I let the world down. People fucking hate Jake Paul and they wanted to see me make him miserable and I didn’t do that. So, I didn’t let the MMA community down, I let the world down.
There is definitely a percentage of people watching Jake Paul fights and rooting for him to lose. I don’t know what percentage that is, but it's definitely pretty sizeable. That’s the downside of doings things like criticizing Conor McGregor’s wife and getting into flame wars with basically everyone including his own brother. But paying customers who don’t like you are still paying customers. We don’t know what pay per view numbers were like for last night, but his win will naturally bring about another much-hyped fight in which many people once again tune in hoping to see someone “make him miserable.”
Expect Jake Paul to release more ridiculous videos, most of which will likely be patting himself on the back for this victory. Expect him to take some time figuring out who his next opponent will be. He’s repeatedly said he wants Conor McGregor, but that still seems like too lofty of a goal. So, I guess we’ll just have to watch and see, which is exactly what Paul wants us to do anyway.