13 Mar - 
Jorge Masvidal to Ben Askren: Give Robbie Lawler respect you owe

LONDON – Veteran UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal will face onetime title challenger Darren Till on Saturday, and Ben Askren will be watching.

Masvidal’s plan is to break Till (17-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) in the UFC on ESPN+ 5 headliner and get a title shot. But he’s also got a message for Askren (19-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who controversially submitted his teammate Robbie Lawler (28-13 MMA, 13-7 UFC) at UFC 235 earlier this month and then mocked him online.

“He’s a little groupie, man,” Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) told MMA Junkie in advance of his fight at The O2 in London. “He’s calling my name. Who are you? Herb Dean gifted you a win and you’re calling people out? Give Robbie Lawler the respect you owe.”

Dean waved off the UFC 235 clash when Lawler’s arm briefly went limp as he struggled to escape a bulldog choke. What the veteran referee and the Nevada State Athletic Commission missed was a thumbs-up given by Lawler prior to the stoppage. The ex-champ immediately popped up and declared he wasn’t out.

Masvidal, who returns to action after after a yearlong break and stint on a reality TV show, said Askren should own up to what really happened and give Lawler another shot.

“As a man, as a fighter, having pride in what I do, I choke somebody out, or I think choke them out, but when I see the replay and see the guy put the thumbs up, in my head, I would say, ‘Man, I didn’t choke this guy out,'” Masvidal said. “And as a man, having pride, I would say, ‘Let’s do it again,’ especially after he (expletive) decapitated me on the slam, busted up my face. ‘Let’s go it again,’ because I definitely didn’t choke you out. Because I’ve never seen nobody go to sleep like this. That’s the first.

“But that’s how much of a weasel and coward he is. No, no, I’m gone already. I wouldn’t dare repeat that route again. That just shows you his character. He’s a (expletive).”

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It’s not just Askren who brings aggravation. Callouts that don’t lead to fights are another source of stress for Masvidal, who’s been hounded by top welterweights like Leon Edwards.

“These new-age fighters are like rappers,” he said. “They’re just talking about killing and shooting and how many women they’ve got, but that ain’t got (expletive). They’ve got bankruptcies and all this type of stuff. Social media has brainwashed these guys, because when it’s actually time to sign the contract and compete, they don’t do it.

“You can sit in the bleachers and get exposure off that, and then the UFC will get mad at me if I see one of these guys and address them in person, like, ‘Why you talking so wild, bro? I’m here now, we can address it.'”

Masvidal could have that chance to address Askren if security doesn’t intervene. To him, there’s trash talk that’s within bounds, and that’s the competitive type. When it gets personal, that’s when he wants to settle things in person.

To hear more from Masvidal, check out the video above.

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