Its been well known that Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren are very close friends and training partners. So, when the former welterweight champion heard what happened to “Funky” as he was knocked out in five seconds, it was obviously tough news to hear.
But, Woodley says he is giving Askren space to make sure he heals up and spends time with his family:
“I talked to him a little bit,” Woodley said to ESPN (h/t MMA Fighting). “He’s a competitor. I just checked on him to make sure his health is good and give him his space. We’ve all got to deal with lessons our own way.
“If you don’t learn anything from it, it becomes a loss, so I can’t help him learn the lesson that he needs to learn from that. I think it’s gonna take him having to feel a little bit bad, a little bit looking at the mirror like, ‘Damn, that sh*t is reality.’ Whatever lesson he gets from it, I think it will make him a better man, a better fighter.”
Askren is coming off of a five-second KO loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239. There, to start the fight, the Olympic wrestler shot for a takedown while “Gamebred” landed a perfectly timed flying knee that knocked him out cold.
Woodley, meanwhile, is coming off of losing his title at UFC 235 to Kamaru Usman. There, for whatever reason, he couldn’t pull the trigger on his punches and is now wanting a rematch.