Former Jake Paul opponent eyes rematch in MMA after rival's new deal

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Former Jake Paul opponent eyes rematch in MMA after rival
Former Jake Paul opponent eyes rematch in MMA after rival's new deal

Former UFC star Ben Askren is eyeing a rematch with Jake Paul in MMA after the YouTube star signed a deal with PFL.

Askren previously challenged Paul in the boxing ring back in 2021 where he was brutally knocked out by the content creator in the opening round. Paul has since gone on to move to 6-0 as a professional boxer, and has now signed a deal to make his debut in MMA working with promotion PFL.

Paul will compete in the UFC rival's new pay-per-view 'super-fight' division next year where he will be permitted to fight both in the boxing ring and in the cage. And Askren, who has yet to compete since his squared circle showdown with the 'Problem Child', has admitted he would love to arrange another showdown with Paul in more familiar settings.

When asked about a second fight with Paul in the cage, Askren tweeted: "Well that would be delightful, but my UFC contract froze when I retired. Lots of hurdles to clear, someone take care of those for me and I’d love to rub his face in the canvas for a while."

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It remains unclear if Askren would be able to compete again, particularly given his hip injury issues that saw him perhaps underachieve in the octagon. Paul has not mentioned a clash with Askren but instead included UFC star Nate Diaz on his plans for competing in the PFL, and has already offered the star a two-fight deal.

Paul will first need to complete training in MMA before he competes in the cage, and is expected to first try and continue his boxing career with a fight against bitter rival Tommy Fury. And PFL chairman Donn Davis has suggested that fans could have to wait until 2024 before the American star is able to fully commit to an MMA duel.

Who wins in an MMA fight - Jake Paul or Ben Askren? Let us know in the comments section below

"I think what's made Jake interesting to fans is that he works hard and he doesn't underestimate what it takes," Davis told ESPN when reviewing the new deal between Paul and the promotion. "He knows he's not ready [for his MMA debut] right now, but he's starting to train.

"I think it's going to be about one year from now, so early 2024, where you'll see him take on his first opponent. But the kind of opponents he is thinking of will shock the world in terms of their status and name brand."

Paul himself is excited by the opportunity and has explained how he will also look to take his new role as Head of Fighter Advocacy in the promotion by the scruff of the neck. "Not only am I an MMA fighter but I will be the head of fighter advocacy and I'm going to use my platform to market PFL fighters and introduce them to my fans worldwide," Paul said. "I personally will be deeply involved in making sure the PFL is the best place in the world for fighters."

Ben Davies

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