Bellator bantamweight Raufeon Stots wasn’t expecting to see Ben Askren in the boxing ring, let alone against Youtube star Jake Paul. But that’s exactly what will take place on Saturday for Triller promotions.
“I was surprised he got the matchup,” Stots told Cageside Press recently. “But then when you look at it, you know, he’s trying to fight somebody who, he thinks [their] boxing isn’t the best.”
Stots (15-1) trained with Askren in the past when the pair were working together at Rofusport. While many in the combat sports community are counting out “Funky” the 32-year-old isn’t one of them.
“I think Ben is a much better tactician,” Stots explained. “I also think Ben knows how to win. No matter the sport he’s in, he’s been a top-level athlete of three sports, Ultimate Frisbee, wrestling, and MMA. I think Jake Paul is going to be surprised, stepping up in competition.”
Through 22-career fights, Askren has only had 6 wins by KO/TKO. But Stots is confident in his former teammate and believes the 36-year-old will secure a finish.
“I think Ben is gonna end up wearing them down and TKO’ing him like the seventh or eighth round.”
Meanwhile, Stots will return to action against Josh Hill on May 7 at Bellator 258. The #4 ranked bantamweight is riding a seven-fight win streak since losing to current UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili in 2017.
Hill (20-3) is coming off back-to-back wins in Bellator, including a decision victory over former UFC bantamweight Erik Perez at Bellator 244 last August. Though 23-career fights, the Canadian has only been stopped once in his career. Stots plans to be the second.
“I think I finish him in the second by head kick,” Stots explained. “I feel like he stays really stagnant and he throws one shot. And I’m gonna counter the right way and get him out of there.”
Bellator 258 takes place May 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta defends his title against Sergio Pettis in the main event.