As if there were some doubts, Jorge Masvidal is not a member of Askren’s team ahead of Ben Askren’s boxing match with Jake Paul.
Masvidal and Askren were embroiled in an unforgettable feud in 2019, culminating in Masvidal hitting Askren’s record five-second knockout in flight at UFC 239. The event took Masvidal to a new level of fame while Askren competed in yet another. time in the UFC before leaving MMA at the end of that year.
The feud between the two never completely died down, and Masvidal went as far as joining Paul as he prepared to box with Askren at the Triller Fight Night event in Atlanta on Saturday. Paul shared a video of him training with the BMF champion in January, and then Masvidal appeared sporadically at the March 27 press conference for the event, summoning his former enemy.
In an interview with Sportsnet.ca, Masvidal detailed why he supports the YouTube star and not his fellow MMA fighter. According to Masvidal, Askren’s reluctance to diversify his game is an insult to mixed martial arts.
“I never felt like Ben Askren was fully involved in (MMA),” Masvidal said (transcribed via BJPenn.com). “Joe (Rogan) said to himself, ‘He’s so good at wrestling that he doesn’t need anything else. It’s as if you were fighting two guys at once. It’s as if you were fighting two guys at once. ” Something like that. And Ben has said throughout his career: “I don’t care, he’s a striker, I don’t need to hit. Yes, I know my punches are limited so I can just fight this guy and cut him into three rounds. I’m not going to immediately fall behind this guy. “
“He’s not a striker,” Masvidal continued. “He never was, he was not born with it, and he didn’t pursue it either. You don’t have to be born with it, but you could do it and learn the techniques. This guy can’t even raise his hands correctly, his core, the way he stands, everything about him tells me, yes, his interviews were correct. He didn’t try to troll or joke. He didn’t really respect hitting all over. Do you think I really want to support a guy like that? You don’t have to take my word for it. Whoever listens to this can listen to any interviews with him three or four years ago. It’s like I went to MMA and said, “Fuck this fight because I don’t have to fight, I can just knock out these guys.” And maybe I’ll knock out some of these guys. But then if I get out of the fight, what do I say? “
Askren was a two-time NCAA Division-I wrestling champion and freestyle at the 2008 Olympics. Over the course of his nearly 10-year MMA career, he has used his wrestling solely to drag opponents onto the carpet and either win on points or overwhelm them for the finish. He scored notable victories over Robbie Lawler, Shinea Aoki, Andrey Koreshkov and Douglas Lima.
Due to the fact that Askren relied on one discipline of martial arts, Masvidal does not respect him as Askren prepares to make his professional boxing debut at the age of 36.
“This is how I feel with Ben,” Masvidal said. “I can’t keep up with him. You have never been a striker. The only reason you got this was because I made you famous in five seconds or less, so now people want to see you hurt again and Jake Paul has picked the perfect match for me. This guy can’t generate energy with his hands.
“Is Ben cool? Yes, he’s pretty damn cool. He will be defeated, he will run four miles, and then he will do a triathlon. He’s tough, he has mental toughness. But the skill set required for boxing, time, preparation and all that? No, and he never respected it. I don’t feel like he is an MMA representative. He’s his own fucking object, and he doesn’t believe in MMA. He thinks he can fight anyone. Now you cannot fight. Now you can only box. I think you need money so badly.