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It wasn’t long ago that Jake Paul was throwing toilet paper rolls at Dillon Danis in a drive-by stunt that appeared staged for the cameras, all to build toward a long-talked about boxing match between the YouTube star and Bellator fighter.
Six weeks later, Paul has a boxing match booked against an MMA fighter, but it’s not Danis he’ll meet inside the ring. Instead, former UFC fighter and welterweight champion of Bellator and ONE Championship Ben Askren will take on Paul in an eight-round match set for pay-per-view on April 17.
Just before the fight was official Tuesday morning, Danis went on Twitter to say “Jake Paul literally ran” from him and called the Askren fight “truly embarrassing.” After the announcement, Danis shared a screen grab of a Jan. 3 direct message exchange with Paul in which he cited a knee injury – Danis had reconstructive surgery last March – for wanting a June date and scoffing at an apparent offer.
“my man your manager literally talks to my manager. dm and email isn’t how business is done, you’re making false claims about offers when i literally talk to my manager and what you’re saying is far from the truth. you know i had a knee injury, nothing i can do about that. i said i want junkie, you know what i bring to the table and you’d be wasting your time fighting anyone else….. june gives you a longer lease on life, enjoy it before i end it”
“the offer that was sent to my manager was pure dog sh*t and you know it”
Paul, however, is calling BS all around.
“I put the biggest offer he’s ever received on the table – seven figures,” Paul told ESPN. “We know he’s probably getting 50 to 100K to fight in Bellator. This is the biggest offer. He lives at his mom’s house. That’s a fact. This guy lives with his mom somewhere in New York or New Jersey. He wanted so badly to fight in the summer, I think because he wanted to have extra months to train because of his ‘knee injury,’ but that knee injury was … literally 15 months ago, so I don’t get how you can still blame that. Plus he’s posting videos of himself sparring on his Instagram. …
“I think legitimately Dillon knows how good my hands are, and he’s trolling, commenting. He knows how to use social media. But when the rubber meets the road, this guy can’t strike, either. He’s a jiu-jitsu guy.”
Whatever the true reason might be, it ends up being 36-year-old Askren coming out of retirement to make his boxing debut. After hip replacement surgery last year, Askren will fight 24-year-old Paul, who has two professional boxing wins against other celebrities. For his work, Askren said he will make more money than he’s “ever been paid for a single fight.”
At the end of the day, Askren thinks Danis doesn’t want any part of a fight with Paul.
“Dillon Danis is a little b*tch. I think he’s legit scared of Jake Paul,” Askren told ESPN. “I can’t prove that. I have no proof for you. But I’m pretty good at getting feelings in situations. My feeling is that, yes, Jake Paul actually wanted to fight Dillon Danis because he’s a little b*tch, and Dillon Danis is actually scared of Jake Paul legitimately. So I do think I was second pick.”
Danis, famous for helping to train Conor McGregor in jiu-jitsu, has just two pro MMA fights on his record, both submission victories for Bellator. His last win was by first-round armbar over Max Humphrey in June 2019 at Bellator 222.