Ben Askren will make more fighting Jake Paul than he did in any of his UFC fights.
Askren (19-2 MMA, 0-0 boxing) will make his professional boxing debut against YouTuber Jake Paul (2-0) on April 17. During a recent interview, "Funky" confirmed he will receive a flat purse for his boxing debut worth more than what he was paid as a UFC fighter.
"Yes. I know, good. Right?" Askren told Chris Van Vliet. "It's stupid."
Perhaps the money will lure Askren into a fight against Jake's brother, Logan Paul.
"Maybe I beat up Logan and then I go back to real life," he said. "I did this for fun. I thought it was gonna be a great time. I'm enjoying it. I'm having fun training, getting back in shape. And then I'll probably go back to my regular life."
UFC President Dana White proposed a $1 million bet on Askren beating Paul. Rapper Snoop Dogg responded to White, expressing a desire to put $2 million Paul.
"I know. Awesome, right?... Dana loves to gamble and he knows fighting. It seems reasonable for him," Askren said. "Snoop Dogg knows nothing about fighting and I guess he likes to waste money, so that's also reasonable."
Speaking of money, Askren expects Paul to get out of the boxing game sooner or laer.
"Whether it's this fight or the next one, or the one after that, I don't know when it's going to be. At some point, Jake is going to say, 'There are better ways to make money.' I think Jake is moderately wealthy and famous," the Olympian suggested. "There are a lot of ways he can make money other than getting into a ring and fighting somebody."
Askren reflected on his unusual UFC run, which included a controversial win over Robbie Lawler followed by a record-setting KO loss to Jorge Masvidal and a submission loss to Demian Maia. Askren's hip was severely compromised and he had planned to retire if he lost to Maia. A win over Maia would have been step one in Askre's three-step retirement plan — Step 1: Beat Maia, Step 2: Win a number one contender's fight, Step 3: fight Kamaru Usman or Colby Covington for the UFC welterweight title.
"My hip was getting so bad at that point that there were so many things I couldn't do. I knew the clock was ticking," he explained. "I knew it had to be fast because my hip was getting to the point where I didn't have many miles left."
"If I had known the results of the surgery. If I could have seen that. I would have done it years ago," he continued. "I knew a bunch of things were wrong with my hip, but there were a bunch of other things happening because of my hip."