Ben Askren tipped by UFC new boy Michael Chandler to cause shock upset in boxing match with YouTuber Jake Paul

UFC new-boy Michael Chandler has warned fight fans not to write off Ben Askren's chances in his showdown with Jake Paul.

The former UFC welterweight contender, who retired from MMA in November 2019, will face the YouTuber in a boxing match on April 17.


Askren's chances of beating Paul – who is 2-0 as a professional boxer – have been written off by many due to his less-than-stellar striking game.

But Chandler – who wrestled with Askren at the University of Missouri – believes the former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion is more than capable of causing an upset.

During an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Chandler said: "Let’s be honest, Ben isn’t the most talented striker.

"If you are Jake Paul you chose the right mixed martial artist to step inside the boxing ring.

“But, I’m telling you right now, don’t overlook my man Ben. Number one, I hope he is getting paid a grip.

"Number two, I’m tuning in, I might even be there boxing ringside because that will be a fun one. I think it is awesome.

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"Truthfully, I would never hate on anybody for making a living and doing what they are doing.

"The Paul brothers, fighting [Floyd] Mayweather and the basketball player and KSI.

"It is not a real sport necessarily but it is fun to watch. It is good for the sport, it is entertainment and you will see it more and more.”

Chandler is happy to see his old uni mate getting a big payday, adding: “I love it man, I wasn’t sure it was going to happen.

"I just love every good thing that happens to Ben Askren. Say what you want about him.

"A lot of people don’t know him as I know him, he’s like a big brother to me, he’s a guy I would consider one of my best friends and teammates for life. I’m excited about it."

Askren is eyeing a seventh-round TKO victory over the younger Paul brother, who insists the MMA veteran won't lay a glove on him.

He told ESPN: "Go Google Ben Askren's striking. Hahaha. It's not going to go that long, it's not going to go that long.

"I don't even think he'll hit me. I haven't been hit one time in the face in my past two fights.

"So I haven't even been punched as pro boxer one time. Nate Robinson landed one body shot in a clinch.

"I don't think Ben Askren will even hit me. That's my prediction."

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