Coach Thinks Ben Askren Can Return By End Of 2019 Following KO Loss

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Ben Askren
Image Credit: Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ben Askren’s coach Duke Roufus wouldn’t be surprised if his fighter returns by the end of 2019.

Askren shared the Octagon with Jorge Masvidal this past Saturday night (July 6) at UFC 239 in Las Vegas, but the experience was short-lived. Masvidal charged at Askren and connected with a flying knee for the five-second knockout victory. While many are questioning how “Funky” will rebound from the record-breaking KO loss, Roufus feels Askren could return to action sooner than many anticipate.

Ben Askren’s Coach Talks Potential Return Time Frame

Following UFC 239, Roufus spoke to MMAFighting.com. The Roufusport head honcho said he wouldn’t rule out Askren fighting again by the end of 2019:

“Maybe by the end of the year. But I’m not a doctor either,” Roufus said. “The other thing, I looked at the video, he got caught more on the neck, which I’ve been told by physicians is the safest place—kind of when I used to fight I used to kick at the neck, it’s almost like choking someone. When you kick them on the neck there’s not as much damage, it’s almost like a choke-out, but I think that’s much less than when you get rattled in the head.

“They’re all dangerous, of course, but I think where the blow was, it’s not—When Ben was moving, I was really scared, I couldn’t see his face. I didn’t see the blow clearly, I thought he had received the knee directly to the face. That’s what I was most worried about when he was moving real bad, I was very concerned. But there’s not a mark on his face at all, which is really fortunate.”

Askren’s KO loss to Masvidal is the first defeat of his professional mixed martial arts career. His record under the UFC banner now stands at 1-1.