Retired UFC fighter Ben Askren will compete in a pro boxing match against internet celebrity Jake Paul on April 17th. First reported by Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the fight will be Askren’s first since concluding his MMA career in 2019.
The pro boxing fight is currently set for eight rounds and does not have a location scheduled for it.
Paul, 24, is an internet celebrity who gained popularity through platforms like Instagram, Youtube and now-defunct app Vine. Paul recently found success through promoting boxing fights against others who have non-boxing backgrounds.
Paul fought one celebrity fight as an amateur, fighting Youtuber KSI in 2018. After that, Paul won his pro boxing debut against another online celebrity in AnEnsonGib.
Paul’s last bout saw him defeat former NBA player Nate Robinson, knocking him out in the second round of action. The fight took place the same night of an exhibition fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.
Like his win against Robinson in November, Paul’s next fight will be promoted by Triller.
“I shocked the world when I knocked out [sic] an NBA superstar athlete, but some people still complained that he’s not a real fighter… So now I’m giving the people what they want,” said Paul in a statement online after news broke about his fight.
Askren, a former Bellator and ONE Champion had a short one-year UFC run in 2019 that resulted in one win and two losses. After earning a debut win against Robbie Lawler, Askren was on the receiving end of a viral five-second knockout from Jorge Masvidal.
Askren retired following a rear naked choke loss to Demian Maia, citing hip issues as a big part of his decision.