Ben Askren has been reflecting on his TKO loss to YouTuber Jake Paul on Saturday night, and admits that not listening to his coaches advice cost him dearly.
“I’m disappointed,” Askren said on the ‘Steven Crowder’ podcast. “I didn’t spend a lot of time on social media yesterday. I had some high school friends over, we played disc golf, grilled out, had a good time.
“Some people, they don’t think I took it seriously. Here’s the thing — when I took the fight, I said No. 1 it’s for the money, No. 2, I think it’s going to be a good time. I used to box my friends in high school just for fun. I trained hard for 11 weeks. I didn’t miss a practice. It just didn’t go my way.
“We knew he had a good overhand right and I’m a dumbass and didn’t block it. My defense was a little too loose. I heard my coaches, both Tyron [Woodley] and [Mike] ‘Biggie’ [Rhodes] were saying stop reacting to his fakes and I didn’t. I paid the price.”
Despite the disappointment, Askren claims that he’s not going to let the loss get to him.
“I think one of the things that really separates me from a lot of people, I could have very easily sat on my couch and said ‘I don’t want to do that because there’s a potential that I’ll be embarrassed.’ That would be the only reason I wouldn’t have done it. There’s no other valid reason. I said I’m going to do it, f*ck it, I’m going to do it.”
Nevertheless, Askren’s relaxed attitude to the loss has angered some fans.
“People were upset that I was smiling afterwards with my wife. I told all of you people before I took this fight, I don’t give a sh*t about the result. When I’m in there, I’m going to try to fight hard but at the end of the day on Monday, I’m going go back to podcasting and coaching wrestling and my wife said something funny to me and I laughed and people are upset about it?
“They really need to get a life and I think they’re trying to exploit their own emotions on me.”
In the aftermath of the loss Askren actually appears more concerned about the overall production of the Triller pay-per-view, which was widely criticized by those watching for being extremely amateurish and having some of the worst commentary in combat sports history.
“You heard me scold the owner of the business when they came to my locker room. That’s live on camera,” Askren said. “Pete Davidson came to interview me and behind the camera was I believe the executive producer of the show and I said ‘I have a lot of my wrestling kids watching this, my brother and I own five academies, I can’t even imagine what their parents are thinking right now.’
“I feel so effing guilty that their parents are either having to kick them out or like explain to them what the hell’s going on right here.”
“Maybe I’m America’s dad but I did find the entertainment to be very distasteful and I think everyone in my locker room felt similarly,” Askren added later.
Nevertheless, while the MMA community collectively wishes that one of it’s worst strikers hadn’t agreed to the freak show fight in the first place, Askren is now laughing all the way to the bank as he took home $500,000 guaranteed on the night, while a cut of the PPV revenue could send him into seven figure territory, with early reports suggesting that well over a million people paid to watch this bizarre spectacle.