Despite being on the receiving end of the fastest knockout in UFC history, Ben Askren isn’t letting his UFC 239 defeat to Jorge Masvidal faze him.
“Funky” was knocked out via a flying knee from “Gamebred” rushing in on a takedown attempt. The finish garnered a ridiculous amount of reaction from the mixed martial arts (MMA) community online. Many began to speculate whether or not Askren would decide to continue fighting after the grizzly loss.
However, speaking on “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show” earlier today (Mon. July 8, 2019), Askren admitted that he plans to continue fighting despite the defeat, but admits he’s not sure where he lands on the totem pole in regards to the welterweight title chase:
“Yeah, I mean, obviously, I haven’t even thought of my path forward, Ariel,” Askren said. “I had such a nice path set up. And I did it to myself, Jorge Masvidal was my pick. I said I wanted to fight the winner of Darren Till vs. Jorge Masvidal and I got it. That was who I wanted to fight, and that was my path to the title, and I had created all this hype and all this momentum, and I was right where I wanted to be.
“I was right on the precipice of having that title shot against Usman if I had gone and won the fight on Saturday night. And, now, like I said, I enjoyed hanging out with my friends yesterday, I flew home this morning, I didn’t really – I haven’t really thought about ‘Hey, where am I now? What’s my path forward? Who am I gonna fight next?’
“I haven’t really thought of that because I was in on one thing happening, the other thing happened, so, I guess I have to take some time to regroup.”
One reason, aside from the quick nature of the knockout, that Askren’s defeat made waves was due to the tremendous amount of trash talk from “Funky.” He was ultimately forced to eat his words, however, this experience won’t deter him from talking trash to opponents in the future:
“No! Of course it’s going to be the same,” Askren said. “One of the more moronic things that Jorge is saying, is like, ‘He deserved to get hit because he was talking all that trash.’ It’s like, listen, if I didn’t say nothing, number one I wouldn’t have gotten the fight, number two [unintelligible], but number three, would you have really not tried to knock me out?
“Would you have, like, been nice to me and tried to play patty cake with me, or paper, scissors rock or something? No. No matter what happened you were going to try and knock me out, so why are you saying this narrative that you tried to knock me out because I was talking trash. You were going to try and knock me out, literally no matter what happens. What we do, Ariel, is a cage fight.
“The whole point is to incapacitate the opponent into which that cannot compete any longer. And so, the idea that he tried to make it worst because I was talking trash, it’s insane, it’s just totally ridiculous. And I know it sounds good, it sounds right, and it sounds like what most people would think, but that’s just not the case.
“And if he’s not trying hard against other people because they’re not talking trash, I would probably tell him he should probably re-think his strategy and try hard regardless of what they say to him.”
What do you think about Askren saying he won’t stop talking trash before fights after being knocked out by Jorge Masvidal in five seconds?