Ahead of UFC London in 2019, the idea was that Askren would face Darren Till after he fought Jorge Masvidal.
Of course, Masvidal would end up knocking out Till – before going on to demolish Askren months later with astest knockout in UFC history.
Still, prior to UFC London, Leon Edwards and Till had plenty of words for the incoming Askren, but how times change.
Now, the former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion is going to face YouTuber turned professional boxer Jake Paul in a boxing match on April 17.
Askren isn’t famed for his striking. He’s a world-class wrestler in every sense of the word, but striker? Not so much.
During an exclusive chat with Edwards, the welterweight contender on an eight-fight win streak commented on Askren’s upcoming flirt with boxing.
“He’s going to get knocked out, I’m serious,” Edwards insisted.
“It’s going to be bad for MMA, man! I don’t know who agreed to this [laughs]. I don’t think it’s going to be good for MMA and he’s going to get chinned. But, it’s going to be funny to see.”
Edwards, meanwhile, is gearing up to face Belal Muhammad on March 13 as he looks to end 18 months of inactivity with a win that could get him a shot at Kamaru Usman’s UFC welterweight title next.
Usman said in the wake of his victory over Gilbert Burns he’d made it hard for himself after he had cleared the division out essentially, but Edwards feels that’s a little harsh on him.
The last time they fought was back in 2015 and things are very different now.
“For sure [it’s harsh]. I was 22 or 23 then, it was a long time ago,” Edwards said.
“I haven’t lost since. It’s one of them; he has done good since I fought him that last fight, he’s beat a lot of good guys, but I’m right up there and have worked my way back up.
“I dust myself off and relearned my skillset. I haven’t lost since and I’ve put a win streak together that no one else has done.
“I’ve proven my case that I’m more than ready for a title shot and I’ve put myself in a position to get the title shot. So hopefully we can get it in this year. The summer or the end of the year.”