There was a time when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, and former top Welterweight contender, Ben Askren, couldn’t stand each other. The two men would constantly trade verbal jabs in interviews and on social media.
But, after “Funky” came over to UFC in 2019 in an unprecedented trade with ONE Championship, White and Askren put their differences aside and worked well together for three fights before Askren called it a career.
Now, White is putting his support behind “Funky” in his upcoming boxing match against YouTube star, Jake Paul, which is set to go down on April 17, 2021, inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. During a recent chat with Mike Tyson and Zab Judah on the “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson” podcast, the outspoken UFC President said there is no way Paul will beat Askren, and he hopes Las Vegas sportsbooks are taking bets for it because he is ready to drop some serious coin on Paul coming up short.
The transcription of his conversation with Judah:
White: “Let’s be honest, Jake Paul isn’t a fucking boxer. This guy is a fucking YouTube kid.”
Judah: “Dana I watched him, he’s been working hard, Dana. I have seen him put it together.”
White: “Zab, no bullshit. You are hanging out with the kid, you know him; you’re saying he can fight? So the kid he is going to fight is a wrestler, decorated wrestler. But he has actually fought real guys. He has been a world champion in other organizations in MMA.”
Judah: “But it’s different though, Dana, when you’re standing up ... from wrestling to you are standing up and letting them hands fly, one thing I will say about him is he’s got hands. I am not joking.”
White: “I hope you can bet on this thing because I will bet a million dollars that he loses this fucking fight. I bet a million dollars that he loses this fight.”
Paul has two boxing matches under his belt. One is a technical knockout win against Ali Eson Gib in Jan. 2020, which was preceded by a one-punch knockout win over retired NBA star, Nate Robinson, in Nov. 2020.
Askren, meanwhile, won’t be confused as the greatest striker the mixed martial arts (MMA) world has ever known, but he does have plenty of combat experience against some of the heaviest hitters in the game.
As for White, he’s no stranger to laying down big bets on sports and putting down $1 million on a fight isn’t out of the ordinary for him. But laying down $1 million on Askren seems like a big risk ... right?