Ben Askren believes he played a major part in Jorge Masvidal’s rise to superstardom.
After “Gamebred” knocked out Darren Till in the main event of UFC London, “Funky” was taking shots at Masvidal to try and get him to accept the fight. After several jabs, it worked and the two fought at UFC 239 where it was expected the winner would get a title shot.
Entering the fight, Askren was the betting favorite and many thought he would outwrestle Masvidal. Yet, that is far from what happened as Gamebred landed a flying knee to KO Askren in just five seconds.
Since that fight, Ben Askren believes Jorge Masvidal took some of his hype which made him become a superstar.
“I put the spotlight on him. His Twitter followers, his Instagram followers [increased], I put the spotlight on him. I played the foil to him. I let him shine, unfortunately, I thought I was going to crush him,” Ben Askren said to ESPN. “He says some of these things like the three-piece and a soda that maybe he isn’t intentionally funny but it authentic. People love that when he says F-ing super necessary, which I feel like he was a douche for punching me when I was already unconscious. I thought that was unnecessary, but he says it was super necessary.
“You know what, it is pretty funny. I was the dude that got punched and that was Jorge being real and that was kind of funny,” he continued. “Even though I thought he was a douchebag for punching me when I was unconscious, it was kind of funny. So, yes, there is a certain authenticity to Jorge that people really, really enjoy.”
Jorge Masvidal is set to headline UFC 251 against Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title. He also took the fight on just days notice. Yet, he has become a popular bet for fans given all the love he has gotten as of late. But, according to Askren, without fighting him, he doesn’t believe Gamebred becomes the massive star he is today.
Do you agree with Ben Askren that he put the spotlight on Jorge Masvidal?