Jorge Masvidal has explained why he won’t be supporting his former foe, Ben Askren, who is set to make his boxing debut against Jake Paul tonight.

‘Gamebred’ revealed on the JD Bunkis on “Good Show,” that he would be rooting against Askren because the elite level wrestler had “disrespected striking” throughout his career in MMA.

“I never felt that Ben Askren was fully involved in (MMA),” Masvidal said. “Joe (Rogan) said himself, ‘He’s so good at wrestling that he doesn’t need anything else. It’s like your fighting two guys at once. It’s like you’re grappling two guys at once.’ Something like that. And Ben carried that his whole career like, ‘I don’t care if he’s a striker, I don’t need to strike. Yeah, I know my striking is limited so I can just wrestle this guy and dry hump him for three rounds.’ I’m not going to get behind that guy all of a sudden now.”

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“He’s not a striker. He’s never been, he wasn’t born with it, and he didn’t pursue it either,” Masvidal added. “You don’t have to be born with it, but you could have pursued it and learned techniques. This guy can’t even hold his hands up properly, his core, the way he stands, everything about him tells me, yeah, his interviews were right. He wasn’t trying to troll and clown. He really disrespected striking the whole way through. Do you think I really want to get behind a guy like this? You don’t have to take my word for this. Whoever’s listening to this can listen to any interviews with him three or four years ago. That’s like me going into MMA and saying, ‘F*ck this wrestling because I don’t need to wrestle, I can just knock these guys out.’ And maybe I do knock some of these guys out. But then if I get outwrestled what do I say?”

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“That’s what I feel like with Ben. I can’t get behind him,” Masvidal concluded. “You were never a striker. The only reason you got granted this was because I made you famous in five seconds or less, so now people want to see you get hurt again, and Jake Paul picked the perfect opponent for me to do it. This guy can’t generate any power with his hands. Is Ben tough? Yeah, he’s tough as hell. He’ll take a beating, he’ll run four miles and then do a triathlon. He’s tough, he’s got the mental toughness. But the skillset that is required for boxing, the time, the preparation, all this stuff? No, and he’s always disrespected it. I don’t feel that he’s a representation of MMA. He’s his own f*cking entity and he doesn’t believe in MMA. He believes he can only wrestling with everybody. Now you can’t wrestle. Now you can only box. I guess you need the money that bad.” (Transcribed by

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Do you agree with Jorge Masvidal? Did Ben Askren “disrespect striking” during his time in MMA?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.