Ben Askren and Kevin Lee have traded verbal shots over a training session they had way back in the day. But, fast forward to now, and Lee insists he’d cruise through the former Bellator and ONE champ.
Earlier this year, Askren and Lee verbally sparred at a UFC presser, over how a sparring session went at Roufusport early on into Lee’s career. Well, as July continues to wind down, it remains to be seen who Lee will fight next, following his submission loss to Rafael dos Anjos in May.
“Ben is probably the easiest out of anybody,” Lee said. “He’s just too hittable and too one-dimensional. He had that little back and forth with me at the press conference talking about he took me down when I was 19 years old as if that meant something to anybody. He didn’t talk about the right hand I kept hitting him with right before that but that’s water under the bridge.”
“Like you said, he’s a big draw but he took a big hit with that one and he didn’t show that he can compete with a lot of the top guys, when you talk about five seconds,” Lee said, while referring to Askren’s recent, devastating KO loss to Jorge Masvidal. “Five seconds! I’m gonna keep it real with you, there’s gotta be something in it for me. There’s no way that I can outdo a flying knee five-second KO. Every time I go into a fight, I want to do better than the guy who did last so I don’t know. There’s not a whole lot there for me.”
Now, it’s certainly true that it would be very hard, if not impossible, to up what Masvidal did to Askren at UFC 239. But, when you consider that Askren is ranked #9 at 170, and that Lee isn’t in the top 15, one could argue he does have something to gain by facing the decorated wrestler.
Lee also said in the aforementioned interview that he would be interested in granting Michael Chiesa a rematch. Lee was awarded a technical submission win over Chiesa in 2017, but the latter never tapped out and he vehemently denied that he went out. So, when you consider Chiesa has now gone 2-0 at 170, maybe a rematch will materialize.