This Saturday, on the main card of UFC 239, Ben Askren will collide with Jorge Masvidal in a pivotal welterweight contender bout. Askren originally expected to fight Darren Till in his next bout, but then Masvidal knocked Till out, jumping the line in the process.
“Going in to the fight with Masvidal, I thought [Darren] Till was going to win,” Ben Askren said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “Masvidal was already making excuses so I didn’t really think it was a good possibility of me fighting Masvidal but then when he won, they started looking around at opponents for me and “Wonderboy” [Stephen Thompson] lost [to Anthony Pettis] and Masvidal was the one that made the most sense.
“I just had to goad him into saying yes, which I did, and here we are.”
Despite Masvidal’s recent knockout of Darren Till, Ben Askren isn’t all that impressed by him. In fact, he expects their UFC 239 fight to be pretty easy.
“I think it’s pretty easy,” Askren explained. “He’s simple right? He’s got good hands but his wrestling’s not great. His jiu-jitsu’s not great. His strength is not great. His cardio’s not great. So when you break it down like that, it becomes pretty simple.”
Still the matchup most definitely serves a purpose for the former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight king. He ended his retirement to come to the UFC and prove he’s the top dog in the welterweight division, and a win over Masvidal carries him one step closer to that goal.
“To prove I’m the best in the world is the one goal I came back for because I was retired. I think this puts me closer to that,” he said.
Do you think Ben Askren can get by Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/2/2019.