Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Ben Askren’s fall has been brutal. It may seem a lifetime ago, but there was a time when people wanted to see Askren face-off with Georges St. Pierre! Prior to his UFC career, Askren was undefeated at 18-0, a former champion in both One Championship and Bellator. After a successful (if painful) UFC debut, Askren suffered his infamous knockout to Jorge Masvidal, then Demian Maia strangled him into retirement.
Jake Paul’s right hand proved another brutal nail in that coffin. Given just how high Askren climbed in his martial arts journey, his slide is historically ... rough.
Speaking with ESPN, Askren compared the two losses and their respective embarrassment.
“I would say they are equally embarrassing, the Masvidal fight obviously meant a lot more to me. This was a fight that had little significance in my life, the Masvidal fight had giant significance,” Askren said (via BJPenn). “The Masvidal fight, if I won that I was going to fight for the UFC title which was the only belt at that point that I hadn’t held. If I go on to win it, then I’m the first person to kind of, I don’t know if you want to say unify, but collect all three of those major belts and the first person to do it. The Masvidal match mattered a lot more to me. If we are talking about an embarrassing standpoint, they are equally embarrassing.”
All the same, Askren confirmed that he did not regret taking the fight. A big paycheck likely helps with even the most painful of defeats!
“No, not at all. I actually figured you were going to ask that question. The only reason, the one and the only reason I wouldn’t take the fight actually happened. The reason is the ability to have an embarrassing moment,” Askren said. “That’s a terrible reason not to do it, in my opinion. The main two reasons I took it was I was getting paid well and I thought it was a fun opportunity, and I still think it was both of those things. There were certain things in the 11 weeks leading up that stressed me out because somethings weren’t really organized, but overall I really enjoyed myself. I made a lot of money and unfortunately I didn’t get the result I wanted, but Monday afterward, I’m just going to go back to my regular everyday life.”
There has been so, so much fallout to the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren debacle (HIGHLIGHTS) that I don’t even know where to begin. I’m just going to content dump it:
April 18, 2021
Is this the most significant (standing) strike of Askrens combat sports career? pic.twitter.com/4wDJnVIVN8— Hayden Doumergumedov (@HDoumergue) April 19, 2021
Here me out: Jake Paul vs Tyron Woodley.— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) April 18, 2021
The fight is a markedly more dangerous one for Paul as Woodley is a power puncher who is still fast and explosive.
Plus, you have the added story line of Woodley avenging his boy Ben Askren.
Thoughts? #PaulAskren pic.twitter.com/0eavbSKymn
Only one of these fighters made a successful transition to boxing pic.twitter.com/vgYSt6Df5T— As Shopped As It Gets (@AsShopped) April 18, 2021
Stephen A. Smith: Ben Askren should be ashamed of himself. He walked in there looking like a fat slob.pic.twitter.com/2cP1m5SmLb— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) April 19, 2021
Devastating... pic.twitter.com/GCPPZywJi5— Zachary Makovsky (@ZachFunSize) April 17, 2021
Will you be tuning into One Championship next week?
ONE on TNT IV is going to be— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 19, 2021
Trilogy fight for the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title
Legends Eddie Alvarez, Shinya Aoki, and Eduard Folayang
Phenoms "Reug Reug," Jackie Buntan, and Colbey Northcutt#WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEonTNT4 pic.twitter.com/edXmLGJGQ2
Robert Whittaker appreciation post ... and also, Kelvin Gastelum chin appreciation post, because damn!
April 18, 2021
Marvin Vettori tries to talk trash.
@stylebender wassup little guy ready to go?? Are you still feeding bananas to your dog from your own mouth? It’s because Id like to break all your teeth so that you can do that even better.— Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori) April 19, 2021
Cant hide forever it’s inevitable
Frank Mir is classier than Triller deserves.
Georges St. Pierre stays fit in the most unique ways.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
A huge percentage of slam knockouts are secretly headbutts, but hey, if it works, it works!
OMG— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 17, 2021
One of the scariest slams of the year from Roland Dunlap at #LFA104
Bad knockdown aside, arm position remains important.
Horiuchi gets a point taken away.— M͎M͎A͎ ͎G͎O͎D͎S͎ (@GodsMma) April 17, 2021
Gets dropped, then wraps up an arm bar to get the comeback win!@LFAfighting on fire tonight!!!#LFA104 pic.twitter.com/766Hk5mFfM
These two ladies go full-on slugfest mode, and I’ll be honest, I usually don’t care to watch WMMA brawling, but there was some power here!
Lucero "La Loba" Acosta KO's Allysen Breedan #CombateGlobal pic.twitter.com/bjAYuWCFtj— Streetfight Banned-cho (@streetfitebncho) April 17, 2021
High-speed snow kayaking!
Midnight Music: I got a request for my favorite Led Zeppelin song in the comments last week. That’s an impossibly difficult question, but here’s my first instinct (but also maybe “Whole Lotta Love”):
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.