Ben Askren will be taking on the always dangerous Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 and gave his thoughts on the title picture at welterweight.
Las Vegas, NV – Ben Askren has made an immediate impact since signing with the UFC. His popularity has skyrocketed, and he’s entered the title picture with a huge win over Robbie Lawler. In his path currently is Jorge Masvidal, who he will fight at UFC 239.
Askren’s wrestling-based fighting style and outspoken personality did not make him a well-liked figure in the MMA world. However, that has all changed, much to his surprise, since he joined the UFC last year.
“It’s been fun and even I’ve been shocked by the reception that I’ve gotten since I’ve started with the UFC. All of a sudden people like me. It’s weird. I kind of played the bad guy for a good majority of my career and then I got in the UFC and everyone loved me. It was strange.”
Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, known by Askren as “Marty from Nebraska,” has a clear number-one contender in his path. That man is former interim titleholder Colby Covington. However, the clear-cut title fight has yet to be announced, and Askren knows why.
“They want me fighting [Kamaru] Usman. Not Colby [Covington]. Nobody wants Colby fighting. Nobody likes Colby. You can go around this room, look at all the people in this room, ain’t no one going to be like, ‘Man, I love Colby, he’s a great dude. I love him. I really hope the best for him.’ No one’s going to say that.”
As for Askren vs. Covington…
“I would [like that fight], but he doesn’t have the belt. So, out of my way.”
Jorge Masvidal is a very well-rounded opponent for Askren to take on on his path to the belt. The former Bellator champion gave his assessment on his opponent.
“Obviously his striking. He’s got pretty good hands. He did have the knockout against Darren Till, so I’d like to say he’s not a power puncher. He had one knockout where it was really clean but he usually doesn’t do that. He’s more of a volume puncher. So I just have to get close to him, get my hands on him, and it’s going to be a long night for him.”
“Funky” trains alongside former UFC champion Tyron Woodley, and would have fought just one week after him. However, Woodley injured his shoulder, which has affected Askren’s camp.
“He’s not been around much, he’s been injured, but I think I’m going to get a few workouts with him next week.”
Despite the lack of his number-one training partner, Askren’s outlook on this fight is clear.
“Submission. Round two. Some type of choke. Don’t know if it’s going to be rear-naked but it’s going to be a choke.”
See if Ben Askren gets that done on July 6 at UFC 239 on pay-per-view.