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Ben Askren: I Don't Want to Be 'World Famous' After I Knock Out Jake Paul

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 16, 2021

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ben Askren isn't looking forward to the fame he expects to receive from his fight against YouTube star Jake Paul on Saturday in Atlanta.

"I don't want to be famous," the former UFC competitor told reporters Thursday, per TMZ Sports

The upcoming pay-per-view bout is highly anticipated thanks to Paul's popularity, which has come in part because of an Instagram account that has more than 14 million followers. 

"I think most fans are more invested in the results of this bout than I am," Askren said. "For me, I think, actually, the biggest negative comes from winning, because if I beat Jake Paul's ass, I'm gonna be like, world-famous, and I ain't really trying to be world-famous."

Askren is hardly a household name despite a 19-2 career record in mixed martial arts. The 36-year-old notably suffered a five-second knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 for his first career loss. He hasn't competed since a subsequent loss to Demian Maia in October 2019.

Paul, meanwhile, gained notoriety in the combat sports world after knocking out former NBA player Nate Robinson last November.

The upcoming bout could create a wider audience for both competitors, although Askren is seemingly happy with his level of fame.

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