Ben Askren believes he's called Jake Paul's bluff after being challenged by the YouTube personality, claiming the social media star has gone quiet now that the ex-UFC fighter has expressed an interest.
Paul has boxed twice, pummelling fellow online celebrity AnEsonGib in one round on Jan. 30 before scoring a second-round KO on former NBA star Nate Robinson on the undercard of the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition on Nov. 28.
Since then, he has publicly called out bigger fish, including Askren and one of the UFC's biggest names, Conor McGregor.
However, Askren posted a video on Twitter to provide an update on the situation.
Hopefully Santa brings @jakepaul some courage for Christmas next year. pic.twitter.com/G7z7UTsfBd— Funky (@Benaskren) December 27, 2020
"I'm retired," Askren explained. "(I'm) coaching wrestling, doing some podcasts, buying some bitcoin, enjoying life. I don't really want to fight anybody. So November, this jabroni Jake Paul calls me out (and) puts up a poster with my name (on it). It's kinda funny, whatever, no big deal. Well then, a couple of weeks later, I get a couple of texts. Then a week after that, I get some calls. Then I get an offer. Ok, this guy really wants to fight.
"Am I opposed to making some easy money beating up a YouTuber? Of course, I'm not. So what do I do? Sure, Jacob, I'll fight you. No problem. I accept publicly on Twitter, nonetheless. Since then, Jacob's went silent. Jacob's kind of a coward. Sorry guys, don't think the fight is gonna happen."
Askren, who recently underwent hip surgery, hasn't competed in the Octagon since a pair of defeats in the back half of 2019 to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia.