Jorge Masvidal chose an interesting way to send a message to Ben Askren before they fight inside of the Octagon at UFC 239.
Masvidal made it known during a recent interview with BJPenn.com Radio that Askren must respect his personal space. If not then he would suffer the same treatment that Leon Edwards did:
“If Ben violates my personal space at any moment to where I feel a threat, yeah, it’s going to happen, the same thing that happened with Leon, if Leon’s across the room and I’m not doing an interview and he’s talking s**t, well whatever man, f**k it.”
In the fight game, it’s known that there are times where fighters can get under each other’s skin. Should Askren poke Masvidal’s buttons too much, things could turn ugly:
“You’re at a safe distance, but it’s just, people have to understand it’s built into me to go into defense mode if somebody violates my personal space. I don’t know, as well as I can read body language, I really don’t know what somebody’s intentions are. I don’t know if he’s going to come over and be like, ‘boom roasted’ or some corny ass shit like that or if he’s going to try to double flip me.
“I don’t know these things so, as long as he keeps his distance from me, ain’t going to be no problems you know? If he’s at a distance where I’m unsafe and I feel threatened you know? Yeah, I think things will happen”
Askren scored a controversial submission win over former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler at the UFC 235 pay-per-view (PPV) event. This marked his promotional debut. Masvidal scored a second-round knockout over Darren Till in the headliner of UFC on ESPN + 5 (also known as UFC London). The show went down on Saturday, March 16, 2019, at The O2 Arena in London, England.
Following his win, Masvidal was involved in a backstage fight with fellow UFC London winner Leon Edwards, giving him an infamous “three-piece with a soda.”