“BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal isn’t happy with Ben Askren’s opting to hang up the gloves and is especially disappointed because the 35-year-old may have called it quits because he lost two consecutive fights.
Masvidal is no stranger to such a struggle and Askren’s retirement announcement last week did not sit well with him.
Askren, who previously fought for Bellator, moved to UFC from One Championship last year via the “trade UFC and One Championship agreement” that saw Demetrious Johnson go the other way. He got off to a winning start against Robbie Lawler but his second fight saw him make UFC history as he was taken out by Masvidal’s “flying knee” just five-seconds into the first round of the match, handing the Florida native the promotion’s fastest-ever win back in July.
“It’s not bad though, second fight in the UFC he breaks a record, we’ve gotta give the guy some applause,” Masvidal joked during an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole (h/t the South China Morning Post).
Askren would also lose his next fight, going out to Demian Maia via submission in the third round of the October bout. He announced his decision to call it quits less than a month later.
On a more serious note, Masvidal noted Askren’s involvement with UFC was great for the company as he brought in many more fans
“He brings in his own crowd – he was a stand-out in wrestling, especially collegiate wrestling, so he did have a fan base. He did some things over at Bellator and on One FC [One Championship],” the BMF said. “So he did have a crowd that he brought over with him to the sport, a different type of crowd.
“But what I don’t like is we’re fighters. We’re supposed to fight, man. You got two losses, it’s no big deal my brother. Get back on the high horse, get to work and figure it out, man.”
Masvidal admitted that Askren’s retirement could be due to problems with his hip but, while he acknowledged that such issues would be good enough a reason to retire, he doesn’t feel that two losses warrant a departure.
“I’ve heard he has hip issues and stuff so I can’t comment on how bad his body is holding up or not,” he added. “But as far as fighting goes, two losses can’t discourage you if you’re a fighter.”
Masvidal, who was named UFC’s BMF after beating Nate Diaz in early November, could be the one to welcome Conor McGregor back to the octagon following his lengthy hiatus.
Until then, we have UFC 245 to look forward to. And, as it pertains to UFC betting, you could get 11/18 odds on Kamaru Usman, who’s set to take on the 23/15 Colby Covington at the December 14 event. Meanwhile, Max Holloway is the 3/5 favorite against Alexander Volkanovski, who is attached to 6/4 odds.
Amanda Nunes is 3/8 to defeat 28/11 Germaine de Randamie, Geoff Neal is 4/9 to beat 21/10 Mike Perry, while Marlon Moraes is 11/18 against the 13/8 Jose Aldo. You could also snag odds of 7/12 on Ketlen Vieira to beat Irene Aldana, who’s currently 13/8 to win, with 2/9 and 15/4 odds available on Petr Yan and Urijah Faber, in that order.
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