Jake Paul wasn’t facing Nate Robinson this time, but a decorated MMA fighter, and the result was the same.
Paul, a YouTube sensation, knocked out Ben Askren in the first round of their Saturday night pay-per-view cruiserweight bout at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta with a straight right hand to the head.
The Triller Fight Club event was televised on FITE.tv for $49.99, and the main-event bout lasted less than two minutes.
The stoppage was questionable. Askren, 36, wanted to continue, but referee Brian Stutts said he was not in the shape to fight and it was stopped at the 1:59 mark.
Askren — who has a 19-2-0 (one no contest) record in UFC — didn’t seem crushed after the loss. He was shown walking backstage smiling after the fight, and apparently was in good spirits after making $500,000 in disclosed pay for the bout, according to CBS Sports.
The 24-year-old Paul — a social media influencer who insists he’s a real boxer — hasn’t fought a professional yet, but this was his first victory over a pro fighter. He is now 3-0 with three knockouts with previous wins over Robinson and AnEsonGib, a fellow YouTuber.
“This is the craziest moment of my life,” said Paul, who did pushups in the ring after the win. “I told y’all I was going to do it in the first round. I told y’all I’m a real fighter. I don’t know how many times I got to prove myself that this is for real.
“It’s been four months, I’ve been in training camp every day. I deserve this s–t. I don’t know how many times I have to prove myself that this is for real.
Paul, a showman who took a stunner from Kevin Owens in a WrestleMania 37 match last week, doesn’t have these top fighters quaking in their boots, judging by their reactions on Twitter.
Nate Robinson, who was panned for taking his fight with Paul, now actually has bragging rights for lasting the longest in the ring against the YouTube star. The former Knick and NBA slam-dunk champion was knocked out in the second round in their Nov. 28 bout.