Ben Askren Describes Backstage Beef With Kamaru Usman

Ben Askren
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One of the more entertaining parts of last evening’s UFC 235 press conference was the back-and-forth between Ben Askren and Kamaru Usman.

Askren will make his Octagon debut on the same card his good friend and training partner welterweight champion Tyron Woodley defends the title against “The Nigerian Nightmare.” There’s no doubt “Funky” will have his hands full against Robbie Lawler on March 2.

That, however, hasn’t stopped the former Olympian from taking shots at nearly every other 170-pound fighter on the roster.

Usman is one of the fighters Askren has taken aim at. And it seems like “Funky” has got under the skin of the title challenger as evident from the back and forth at the presser last night.

“Marty tried attacking me 20 minutes ago,” Askren said at the UFC 235 press conference (h/t mmamania.com). “I knew this dude, we trained together at the Olympic training center. He was ‘Marty’ then. I think he’s confused on what we do. We don’t play basketball or wrestling, we get in the cage and fight each other. So threatening me backstage is what I volunteered for. I volunteered for that.”

While Askren interpreted the backstage confrontation as an “attack”, Usman, as you might imagine, has a completely different take on the run in.

“Threatened him? See, that’s different,” Usman fired back. “It’s not threatened. There’s no threats. Why do I need to threaten somebody for? My thing is, if you’re going to talk online, if you’re going to come at me with a certain energy, when you see me on-site, keep that certain energy. I’m fighting for the UFC welterweight title and on March 2nd, I will be the new welterweight champion. At that point, you can come talk to me.”

The welterweight division should have a little more clarity come March 2.

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