Arguably the most highly-anticipated fight of last night’s (Sat. July 6, 2019) UFC 239 pay-per-view (PPV) was the welterweight meeting between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal.
Many assumed it would be an easy night at the office for Askren, who was undefeated heading into the fight and showcased some of the most dominant grappling the sport has ever seen. However, Masvidal game planed beautifully for the fight, throwing up a flying knee immediately as Askren rushed forward.
The result was a five-second knockout win for Masvidal, marking the fastest knockout in UFC history that sent the mixed martial arts (MMA) community into a frenzy. However, Masvidal did receive some criticism for his actions.
After Askren was clearly rendered unconscious from the knee, he jumped on the former ONE and Bellator welterweight champion and got in some huge punches. Soon after, the referee stepped in to stop the action. After the fight was stopped, Masvidal got down on the canvas and close up to Askren’s face, taunting him as he laid there asleep.
Speaking at the UFC 239 post-fight press conference, Masvidal issued the perfect response to those who criticize his post-knockout strikes, pointing out it’s his job to fight until the referee steps in, which is exactly what he did:
“They (the post-knockout punches) were super necessary,” Masvidal said. “But the referee hadn’t pulled me off. And my job is to hit somebody until the referee pulls me off. So to those people I would say, maybe don’t watch MMA, go back to soccer.”
As for his post-fight celebration, Masvidal points out fighters such as Conor McGregor have used far more personal and outlandish insults to hype a fight – like mentioning fighters’ wives, children, religion, etc. – and is baffled people would excuse those shenanigans while berating him for simply getting in a fighter’s face after a knockout:
“Man, there’s not too many people that I’ve disliked,” Masvidal said. “I have over 50 pro fights and he’s one of them. He talked about my manhood, he talked about my culture, my ethnicity – where do we draw – why do certain people get to do stuff online? So you can do anything – everything is cool to say before a fight, you’re allowed to do or say whatever you want – like other fighters are now doing talking about people’s religion, wife, even kids – that’s cool?
“But after a fight I’m not allowed to showboat and rub it in your face so you and guys like you can see that ‘Maybe I don’t talk so much sh*t because when I cross one of these real mother f*ckers they’re gonna make me pay for it man, they’re gonna embarrass the sh*t out of me.’ And it’s not over for Ben either, he still has to deal with me – if I see him at Whole Foods, Ima still slap that dude up, because I don’t like him.”
What did you think about Masvidal punching Askren after he was clearly unconscious?