Ben Askren has just released the first footage of sparring from his training camp ahead of his upcoming boxing debut against YouTuber Jake Paul on his official Twitter account. Despite being far more well-known for his elite grappling skills, Askren shocked the world when it was revealed that he was going to face off against Paul for his first ever boxing match at the ripe old age of 36. By the time the match was announced, he’d already been retired from professional MMA for around a year and a half as a result of a lingering hip injury that required surgery.
Despite age and a lifetime of combat sports at the very highest levels catching up with him, Askren has been vocal about the fact that his retirement may not be as permanent as he initially led on. He was always open about wrestling being his first and one true love, and a sport that he could see himself continuing to compete in for the years to come. Not just that, but he never really ruled out a return to professional MMA either so it didn’t come as too much of a shock that he was returning to combat sports, it was more the sport itself and the opponent he chose that was surprising.
He also mentioned in previous appearances that his only regret from his years of MMA competition was that he didn’t spend more time training in Jiu-Jitsu, which made his boxing debut all the more unusual. Although Ben Askren will be tied up with his boxing debut until April 17th, it wouldn’t be completely out of the question for him to make an appearance at ADCC 2022, especially considering he’s already competed there once before.
Bens sparring is on point. But the question seems to be – slow motion or real time? Check out the vlog and you decide. On April 17th it’ll be nothing but real time and JP won’t be able to keep up.
— Funky (@Benaskren) March 1, 2021