Duke Roufus Expects Ben Askren To Be Better Than Ever In His Return

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Ben Askren suffered his first professional loss at UFC 239 when he was knocked out cold by Jorge Masvidal. There, “Gambred” threw a flying knee that KO’d him in just five seconds.

Following the loss, Duke Roufus has nothing but respect for Masvidal for trying that flying knee.

“Ben’s my friend, you see him hurt like that,” Roufus said to MMA Fighting. “But I gotta take my hat off to Jorge. I know Ben and Jorge don’t get along, I get along well with Jorge, I like Jorge a lot. So fair play, it was a great move, high risk, high reward. It was a very risky move, it paid off for him. I’m that type of guy that believes in ‘fortune favors the bold’ and he was quite bold on that move and it’s going to go down in history as one of the best moves ever in the UFC.

“It could have happened differently. He could have missed and Ben could have been wrestling and on top of Jorge, so we’re all gonna some days hate the fight game. Winning is awesome and losing you want to cry your eyes out, but Ben is a very resilient person. He has a special, special mindset and you saw the way he owns everything. That’s what I really like about Ben. He’s 100 percent transparent, I’ve never worked with someone like him, he’s just a special breed and this is only going to make him better.”

Although it was a brutal knockout, looking back it, Roufus says it caught Askren’s neck, which makes him fighting again in late 2019 possible. But, he assures that he will spend this time with “Funky” to improve his game and be better than ever when he returns.

“He’s one of those guys, he’s gonna be fine,” Roufus said. “If anything, it might put a little bit more chip on his shoulder to work even harder than he’s ever worked before, which is pretty scary.”

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