Paul, a YouTube sensation, knocked out Ben Askren in the first round of their pay-per-view cruiserweight bout on Saturday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta with a right hand to the head.
The Triller Fight Club event was televised on FITE.tv for $ 49.99, and the main fight lasted under two minutes.
The stop was questionable. Askren, 36, wanted to continue, but referee Brian Stutts said he was not in shape to fight and was stopped at 1:59.
Askren – who has a 19-2-0 (one without a contest) record in the UFC – didn’t appear crushed after the loss. He was shown walking backstage smiling after the fight, and was apparently in good spirits after earning $ 500,000 in wages for the fight, according to CBS Sports.
Paul, 24, a social media influencer who insists he’s a real boxer, has yet to fight a professional, but it was his first win over a professional fighter. He is now 3-0 with three knockouts with previous wins over Robinson and AnEsonGib, another YouTuber.
“It’s the craziest time of my life,” said Paul, who did push-ups in the ring after the win. “I told you all I was going to do it in the first round. I told you I was a real fighter. I don’t know how many times I’ve been able to prove to myself that this is for real.
“It’s been four months, I’ve been at training camp every day. I deserve this shit. I don’t know how many times I have to prove to myself that it’s real.
Paul, a showman who took a stunner from Kevin Owens in a WrestleMania 37 match last week, doesn’t have these top fighters shaking in their boots, judging by their reactions on Twitter.
Nate Robinson, who was convicted of fighting with Paul, now has the right to boast that he lasted the longest in the ring against the YouTube star. The former Knick and NBA slam-dunk champion was knocked out in the second round of their November 28 fight.