Ben Askren may have suffered his first and only defeat in devastating and historic fashion at UFC 239, but the decorated wrestler is still adding to his resume, with how he’s handling the loss.
As you surely know, Askren faced Jorge Masvidal on Saturday night, and was viciously knocked out in just five seconds, via a flying knee. The knockout was the fastest in UFC history.
By the time UFC 239 took place, many pundits and observers were questioning whether the Masvidal – Askren fight had become the card’s top draw, on account of the various verbal exchanges the two had. Since Askren arrived in the UFC last year, the former Bellator and ONE champ hasn’t been shy, when it’s come to calling out or critiquing the top welterweights.
“I got nothing to hide from. Things happen, losses happen. Saturday night was definitely not ideal for myself, but I got nothing to complain about,” said Askren. “There is a little part of my memory that is blank there. I remember being in the cage with him. I don’t really remember the flying knee and then when I can recall, I remember everything. So I was like, ‘Oh sh-t, I lost to Jorge Masvidal. This freaking sucks.’”
“And I’ve always thought, ‘Who the hell gets caught with a flying knee? Can’t you see that coming? It’s coming from so far away?’ But when I watched the film, I don’t like Jorge at all, but that was a damn good flying knee. He hit it fast and explosive. He got some serious airtime on it and connected on the right spot,
So, even if you are with Team Masvidal, you have to admit Askren’s scoring points here, by giving credit where credit is due. It was an amazing, booming strike which will likely be viewed a gazillion times in the coming years.
Askren apparently took a lot of heat online, following his defeat. But, when asked about that, the outspoken fighter said this (quote via MMA Junkie):
“I feel like I probably deserve it,” Askren said. “I’ve been antagonizing people for almost a decade now, and it never came up on the end of the stick. Now, I’m not reading everything they’re antagonizing me with. I’m just scrolling through it. I don’t want to dwell on that. But fair enough. I always figured that when this point happened, I’d get lit up. I’m not paying attention to it, but I’m sure I’m getting lit up.”
There you have it. There’s a lot of fighters who won’t do media after a loss, let alone admit they “deserve” getting piled on, on account of statements they’ve made. Now it will be interesting to see what comes next for the 34-year-old. Will Askren push for a fight with another top contender? Will he set his sights on making another title run?