Tyron Woodley believes Ben Askren will come back ‘better man, better fighter’

Tyron Woodley, Ben Askren
Image: @benaskren on Instagram

Tyron Woodley had a lot to think about on Saturday night following Jorge Masvidal’s vicious knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239.

For starters, Askren is a teammate and close friend of the former UFC welterweight champion. In addition, Masvidal is a surging contender looking to cut ahead of Woodley in the 170-pound title conversation.

When it comes to Askren, Woodley believes that his friend and teammate — despite being on the wrong side of the history books during the record-breaking five-second KO loss to Masvidal — will, not only bounce back, but become even better from it. “The Chosen One” spoke to ESPN on the red carpet prior to Wednesday night’s ESPY awards to discuss the aftermath of the fight’s shocking conclusion.

“I talked to him a little bit,” Woodley said. “He’s a competitor. I just checked on him to make sure his health is good and give him his space. We’ve all got to deal with lessons our own way. If you don’t learn anything from it, it becomes a loss, so I can’t help him learn the lesson that he needs to learn from that. I think it’s gonna take him having to feel a little bit bad, a little bit looking at the mirror like, ‘Damn, that s**t is reality.’ Whatever lesson he gets from it, I think it will make him a better man, a better fighter.”

Tyron Woodley lost his welterweight title to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March, snapping his six-fight winning streak in the process. The fight against Usman was a one-sided affair, seeing Usman sweeping the judges’ scorecards, with a pair of 10-8 rounds awarded to the new champion to boot. With the craziness of one of the organization’s deepest divisions, the current champion being injured, Masvidal’s meteoric rise, and a pivotal matchup at UFC Newark between rival Colby Covington and former opponent Robbie Lawler coming up Aug. 3, there seems to be a lot of questions left to be answered.

Do you believe Ben Askren can come back a better fighter following his loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239? Is Tyron Woodley right?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/11/2019.