Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ben Askren Doesn’t Remember Brutal Flying Knee From UFC 239

Polarizing UFC smack talker Ben Askren absorbed a record-breaking knockout (check it) from rival Jorge Masvidal on the main card of last weekend’s (Sat., July 6, 2019) UFC 239 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The knee came right at the opening bell and was something Masvidal and coach Mike Brown were apparently planning all fight week. ‘Funky’ was made to eat humble pie after claiming a title shot could be next for him. He was, however, humble and honest in his response to the loss.

That continued in his appearance on today’s episode of ‘Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show’ (via ESPN’s Marc Raimondi), where Askren claimed he didn’t even remember the knee hitting him:

“I don’t really remember the flying knee. And then when I can recall, I remember everything. I was like, ‘Oh shit, I lost to Jorge Masvidal. This freakin’ sucks.’”

Askren then gave Masvidal credit, admitting he doesn’t like ‘Gamebred’ but had to respect the knee KO:

“I don’t like Jorge at all, but that was a damn good flying knee. He hit it fast and explosively. He got some serious airtime on it and obviously connected in the right spot.”

‘Funky’ continued his classy reaction to his first MMA loss by shutting down the critics who claimed his loss was due to a fluke:

“I’m seeing people saying Jorge got lucky. That’s not lucky, man. Is it gonna happen 100 out of 100 times? Definitely not. But landing a knee like that takes a lot of skill. I couldn’t do such a thing.”

Finally, Askren admitted to antagonizing ‘Gamebred’ enough to sign to fight him and make him mad for the match-up. Because of that dynamic, he isn’t mad he ate some extra punches after he was clearly stopped:

“I antagonized the shit out of him. That was on purpose. I was trying to first get him to accept the fight, second then make him mad. Like those extra punches, it’s fine. It’s probably what should be expected in a scenario like that.”

Askren is taking the forthright path here and owning up to his loss. He should be back at some point, yet his aura of unstoppability is now gone. Where does he go from here in his UFC career?

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