Jorge Masvidal explained why he can’t get behind Ben Askren in boxing, suggesting “he really disrespected striking” during his MMA career.
On Saturday, Askren makes his pro boxing debut when he faces off against YouTuber Jake Paul. For Askren, it’s his first boxing match after spending the last decade-plus in mixed martial arts, and so he will be somewhat representing the sport of MMA when he steps into the ring this weekend. However, not everyone is convinced he’s truly representing MMA.
Speaking to JD Bunkis on “Good Show,” Masvidal said that he’s rooting against Askren this weekend. For Masvidal, he just can’t get behind someone who he says was so disrespectful to the art of striking for the last decade, and he ripped Askren for his striking technique.
“I never felt that Ben Askren was fully involved in (MMA). Joe (Rogan) said himself, ‘He’s so good at wrestling that he doesn’t need anything else. It’s like your fighting two guys at once. It’s like you’re grappling two guys at once.’ Something like that. And Ben carried that his whole career like, ‘I don’t care if he’s a striker, I don’t need to strike. Yeah, I know my striking is limited so I can just wrestle this guy and dry hump him for three rounds.’ I’m not going to get behind that guy all of a sudden now,” Masvidal said.
“He’s not a striker. He’s never been, he wasn’t born with it, and he didn’t pursue it either. You don’t have to be born with it, but you could have pursued it and learned techniques. This guy can’t even hold his hands up properly, his core, the way he stands, everything about him tells me, yeah, his interviews were right. He wasn’t trying to troll and clown. He really disrespected striking the whole way through. Do you think I really want to get behind a guy like this? You don’t have to take my word for this. Whoever’s listening to this can listen to any interviews with him three or four years ago. That’s like me going into MMA and saying, ‘F*ck this wrestling because I don’t need to wrestle, I can just knock these guys out.’ And maybe I do knock some of these guys out. But then if I get outwrestled what do I say?” continued Masvidal.
“That’s what I feel like with Ben. I can’t get behind him. You were never a striker. The only reason you got granted this was because I made you famous in five seconds or less, so now people want to see you get hurt again, and Jake Paul picked the perfect opponent for me to do it. This guy can’t generate any power with his hands,” Jorge Masvidal said. “Is Ben tough? Yeah, he’s tough as hell. He’ll take a beating, he’ll run four miles and then do a triathlon. He’s tough, he’s got the mental toughness. But the skillset that is required for boxing, the time, the preparation, all this stuff? No, and he’s always disrespected it. I don’t feel that he’s a representation of MMA. He’s his own f*cking entity and he doesn’t believe in MMA. He believes he can only wrestling with everybody. Now you can’t wrestle. Now you can only box. I guess you need the money that bad.”
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