Daniel Cormier jokes that Ben Askren nearly became UFC champ “without learning how to fight”

Ben Askren, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier
Image via @benaskren on Instagram

Daniel Cormier recently had a bit of fun at Ben Askren’s expense, praising the former ONE and Bellator welterweight champ for nearly making it to the UFC welterweight throne “without learning how to fight.”

While Askren is easily one of the best wrestlers that we’ve seen in MMA, his striking never caught up with his skills on the mat.

Speaking in an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Cormier joked that he briefly expected Askren to win UFC gold without tightening up his striking.

“Listen, I love Ben, he’s my boy, but I don’t know,” Cormier said. “There was a point that I was scared — I was like ‘Ben’s about to be a world champion.’ He was undefeated, he beat Robbie Lawler. I was like ‘this dude’s about to be a world champion and he doesn’t even know how to fight.’

“Ben never tried to learn to fight,” Cormier added with a laugh. “He was about to be world champ. I love Ben, he’s my boy, but boy… I’ll tell you: Ben was about to become a world champ without learning how to fight.”

Cormier then looked back on Askren’s 2019 loss to Demian Maia, which would go down as the final fight of his career. Maia is known as one of the best BJJ players in MMA, but has never had particularly impressive striking. Given that, Cormier was pretty impressed with the way Maia out-struck Askren.

“He was out there with Demian Maia, I’ve seen Demian Maia fight for like 15 years, and I’ve never seen him out-strike somebody like that,” Cormier said. “Dude’s just out-striking Ben Askren.”

Cormier was then asked why he didn’t offer to help Askren develop his striking.

“He doesn’t listen,” he laughed. “Ben knows everything.”

What do you think of these comment from Daniel Cormier?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/13/2020.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM