Former UFC welterweight Ben Askren got knocked out in the first round of his boxing match against YouTube personality Jake Paul in the Triller Fight Club pay-per-view (PPV) main event last Sat. night (April 17, 2021) inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
It was hard to expect otherwise after watching this.
The show was too long, too goofy, and had far too many production miscues, but it’s hard to get upset at the end result because Askren warned us it would be a “circus” ahead of time. And that was before we found out about the slap fighting.
And the drunk Oscar De La Hoya on commentary.
“People love fist fights. People love circuses. Hope you enjoy tonight,” Askren wrote on Twitter.
He also apologized to the “world” for being unable to defeat Paul, who now improves to 3-0 as a professional boxer with three knockouts. I guess we should also mention that Askren turns 37 in July, is coming off major hip surgery, and is widely-regarded as one of the worst strikers in the history of MMA.
“I said this fight would be easier than the Nate Robinson fight,” Paul said after the match. “At one point I was the underdog. That sounds crazy but I was the underdog. I knew Ben would sit there like a typical MMA fighter and have no head movement. I’m just too powerful.”
Paul was accompanied to the ring by a giant robot.
There was some mild controversy after the stoppage, not uncommon with fights that end early in the opening frame, but after taking the mandatory standing eight count Askren was still looking a little “Funky” on his feet and got saved from additional punishment.
Complete Triller Fight Club results below:
Jake Paul def. Ben Askren via TKO – Round 1, 1:59
Regis Prograis def. Ivan Redkach via technical decision (60-54, 60-54, 59-54)
Steve Cunningham def. Frank Mir via unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54, 58-56)
Joe Fournier def. Reykon via TKO (did not answer bell) – Round 3, 3:00
Triller returns on June 5 in Miami, featuring Evander Holyfield vs. Kevin McBride.