UFC Commentator Joe Rogan Praises Jake Paul Ahead of Ben Askren Fight

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2021

FILE - Internet personality Jake Paul arrives at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Aug. 13, 2017. FBI agents including a SWAT team have raided the apparent home of YouTube star Jake Paul. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller says agents executed a search warrant Wednesday at the Calabasas, California mansion in connection with an ongoing investigation. She could not say what the probe is about or who the target was. Helicopter video from local TV news showed agents gathering guns from the home that can frequently be seen on Paul's YouTube channel, which has over 20 million followers. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

UFC commentator Joe Rogan has complimented Jake Paul's boxing ability ahead of his match against former UFC fighter Ben Askren.

Speaking with retired UFC fighter Brendan Schaub on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience (h/t TMZ Sports), Rogan said of Paul: "You can watch [Paul] hit the bag, watch him hit pads, watch him spar—he's got good timing, he's got very good hand speed, his technique is excellent. He's got very good striking technique."

Paul, 24, is primarily a YouTuber, but he is a rising star in the boxing world and has generated lots of interest in his fights.

He beat fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib in his professional boxing debut last January by first-round technical knockout and followed up with a second-round knockout of former NBA guard Nate Robinson in November.

Askren promises to be Paul's toughest opponent since he is an actual fighter. While Schaub had no doubt Askren will prevail, Rogan was skeptical: "[Askren] is strong as f--k. He knows how to grab ahold of guys, and drag them to the ground and implement his style. He won't be able to do that. His main thing will be out. His main thing will be completely removed."

There wouldn't normally be much question about whether a UFC fighter could beat Paul, but Askren is unique in that he made his living based on his wrestling skills.

The 36-year-old was an NCAA champion in wrestling at the University of Missouri.

He competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics and went on to win welterweight titles in Bellator and ONE Championship before debuting with UFC in 2019.

He beat Robbie Lawler by technical submission in his debut at UFC 235. However, Jorge Masvidal knocked Askren out in his second UFC fight in five seconds, the fastest knockout in UFC history.

Askren tried to bounce back at UFC Fight Night in October 2019, but he fell to Demian Maia by third-round technical submission.

Even though Askren lost his last two fights, his career record of 19-2 with one no-contest is strong.

He won most of his fights with his wrestling ability, but he went toe-to-toe with some great strikers and only got knocked out once. Because of that experience, he may be a tough matchup for Paul even without great striking ability.

Paul and Askren are set to clash April 17.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.