Ben Askren is one of the more active members of the mixed martial arts (MMA) community on social media.
He recently sparked a brief back-and-forth with former UFC dual-weight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor is teasing a return to Octagon action very soon. However, speaking on “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show” today (Mon. September 16, 2019), “Funky” told the Irishman it’s time for him to shut up and fight.
“That’s what I do on social media, I poke people,” Askren said. “It’s one of those nonsense – I think he probably spends a large portion of his day drinking, and so, a lot of his responses are kind of shenanigans, nonsensical, they don’t make a whole lot of sense. It was just like, I was getting annoyed – and listen, people in my mentions, they think I don’t get to have an opinion because I’m a fighter or something.
“I get to have an opinion, I do have an opinion, my opinion is heard by a lot of people because I have a large Twitter following. And so, I enjoy the sport of mixed martial arts, not only as a coach, not only as an athlete, but I enjoy watching it, following it, and doing that kind of stuff. So I was getting annoyed by the fact that Conor keeps kind of saying, “Oh, I won’t fight you,” and then Dustin – the Dustin fight, that’s probably a great fight for him. Dustin has a lot of hype, he just came off a world title shot.
“If there’s a fight that’s going to get Conor back in it, boom, that’s it. I don’t think they’re gonna make Khabib-Conor. I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. Nate Diaz is tied up. So who are Conor’s other options? Obviously Justin Gaethje, but if you’re looking at Conor – sh*t I’d rather fight Dustin Poirier before I fight Justin Gaethje if you’re Conor.”
Askren says McGregor can Tweet about whatever he wants, just not about fighting or saying he’s too good to fight a certain fighter, without having competed in a lengthy amount of time.
“I get to have an opinion. I like MMA, if I want to have an opinion, I get to have an opinion, and my opinion is, a Dustin Poirier fight is a good option for Conor, Conor should shut up, stop trying to act too good for it – take the fight, take a fight, take any fight, we don’t care,” Askren said.
“We just want to hear you shut up on social media and actually take a fight. I mean, give me a damn break. It’s been a year? More than a year? Before that, another year. It’s like, come on man. Get in there and shut up. No more Tweets lets fight already. Conor can Tweet. He just can’t Tweet about fighting anyone without fighting, or saying he’s too good for fighting anyone without hopping in there. So he can Tweet about whatever he wants. Just not about saying, “I’m tough I’m gonna fight,” unless you actually fight.”
Askren is currently slated to take on Demian Maia in Singapore on October 26. After suffering the fastest knockout in UFC history – a five-second flying knee knockout to Jorge Masvidal – and the first defeat of his MMA career, Askren hopes to bounce back with a win over Maia. It’ll be very much a grappling festivity, as Maia is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners MMA has ever seen.
As for McGregor, it remains unknown what is next for the Irishman, with rumblings of a fight with Dustin Poirier or Justin Gaethje making the rounds.
What do you think about Askren’s comments towards McGregor?