Ben Askren could ‘mentally break’ Jake Paul and knock the YouTube star out when they meet on April 17, according to his former promoter.
Former UFC star Askren accepted Paul’s challenge to a fight at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Atlanta after the latter failed in calling out Conor McGregor and Michael Bisping.
A former Olympic wrestler and multiple-time world champion in MMA, striking was never Askren’s strong point as he relied on his grappling ability to nullify opponents.
Yet the former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight champion has faced strikers such as Douglas Lima and Robbie Lawler in his career and survived.
Although Paul looked impressive in his two professional wins to kick-start his boxing career, the standard of his opponents leaves a lot to be desired.
And ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong believes the gulf in experience will prove insurmountable for the 24-year-old social media star.
“Obviously, Ben is a world champion wrestler and a world champion mixed martial artist,” he told Insider.
“In a real street fight, he would destroy Jake Paul. But this is a boxing match, which is Ben’s worst discipline. And Jake Paul does have knockout power — you can see it, you know, when you hit pads.
“But it’s one thing to hit pads and it’s another to get in a war. And if this fight gets into a war, I see Jake Paul breaking.”
“Paul doesn’t have the world champion experience that Ben does,” added Sityodtong.
“If this goes toe-to-toe, I see Ben winning this fight by knockout because Jake will just break mentally. He doesn’t know what it’s like to fight.”
Sityodtong finished: “In Thailand we have a very famous saying, ‘There are fighters who look phenomenal on pads, in the gym sparring, but very few fighters look amazing in the ring.’
“In a real fight, a real combat situation, I think Jake has no idea what it’s like to fight in the ring.”
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