Ben Askren shot down Jake Paul's claim he will lose his entire fight purse if he attempts to execute any mixed martial arts moves in their boxing bout April 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
"False," Askren tweeted in response to Paul's claim during an interview with MMA Junkie that his fight deal contains a condition that prohibits MMA moves.
According to Paul, a contract has been finalized for their eight-round encounter and it specifically states Askren will be severely penalized if he gets carried away and applies his MMA instincts.
A source told MMA Fighting that Askren will get "a couple of warnings" and could be disqualified in the event he uses an MMA move in their bout. But that would not mean he will forfeit his prize money as nothing in the contract reflects that.
Many fight experts believe Askren's best chance of beating Paul will be to fight rough by clinching and unleashing dirty tactics.
Askren said he can knock out Paul in seven rounds, which aligns with some analysis that the longer the fight would go, the better it would be for him.
Meanwhile, former UFC star Markus Perez said he was paid $300 to help Paul toughen up.
"I had no idea who [Paul] was, but when someone related to him offered me $300 to spar with him, I accepted," Perez said.
Perez said Paul is able to throw some punches, "but he's clearly not a fighter - just an adventurous type."
"Askren is a real fighter. He will close the distance and beat him up around the body and liver, just like I did," Perez said, according to Mirror.
With the upcoming boxing match fast approaching, the fight community's excitement is building. Former UFC welterweight contender Stephen Thompson, however, is not among those in anticipation.
"I refuse to watch the fight. It is kind of cringe," BJPenn.com quoted him as saying.