Ben Askren is very disappointed that he was knocked out by Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239, but he’s managed to find a silver lining in this abrupt defeat.
He believes he helped Masvidal become rich and popular in a way that he never would have been had they not fought. For that, he believes he’s owed a ‘thank you’ — although he doesn’t seem to expect to get one.
“I will acknowledge that I made him this popular,” Askren said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday (transcript via MMA Mania). “I brought the best in him, So it’s fine, it’s part of the game. We were the most anticipated fight by far on the biggest card of the year. And it definitely wasn’t because Jorge decided not to show up to two different press events. It was because I made it that way.
“Jorge can say I’m a dick, or whatever the hell he wants to say about me, but if he wasn’t so rude, he should probably say, ‘Thank you for making me a lot of money,’” Askren added.
Jorge Masvidal defeated Ben Askren with a flying knee in a mere five seconds, setting a new record for the fastest knockout in UFC history. Askren, who previously held the welterweight titles in ONE Championship and Bellator, had never lost previously, and defeated tough opposition like Robbie Lawler, Shinya Aoki, Zebaztian Kadestam, Douglas Lima, Andrey Koreshkov and Jay Hieron.
Jorge Masvidal is now on a two-fight win-streak, having also knocked out Darren Till in March. He’s now closing in on a welterweight title shot, while Askren is looking to get back on track against Demian Maia in October.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/6/2019.