Ben Askren: Brawling Jorge Masvidal lacks discipline, not secure in masculinity
ATLANTA – Ben Askren wasn’t going to let a minor detail like an opponent get in his way.
Even though Jorge Masvidal was a no-show at the UFC Seasonal Press Conference a week ago, Askren decided to show up to create a little buzz.
“First and foremost, I was invited,” Askren (19-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) said. “I had my plane ticket in my email. And then I get a call and (they say), Jorge doesn’t want to show up for work, we’re not going to need you any more.
“I don’t give a damn if Jorge has reservations at IHOP and doesn’t want to come to work – I’m not missing an opportunity.”
Masvidal (33-13 MMA, 10-6 UFC) presumably will be there when it counts, a meeting at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas. Askren wasn’t sure that would be the case when he saw the American Top Team fighter suckerpunch Leon Edwards backstage after a thrilling knockout victory at UFC on ESPN+5.
“I thought Leon was getting the fight for sure,” Askren said. “And besides that, Jorge was making excuses that whole week about why he didn’t want to fight me. He wouldn’t say my name – that’s like a thing he does. Jorge needs to know, I don’t get full on a three piece and a soda. He better bring the whole family meal for that night.”
Masvidal and Askren seem to disagree on what exactly happened when they crossed paths in London, where Askren took another opportunity when the UFC flew him out to watch the fight card. Askren was dismayed at what he saw afterward.
“I don’t understand people that just walk up and punch people for not really a good reason,” he said. “For me, it shows two things: No. 1, a total lack of discipline. Like, that’s not cool. You can’t just go punch someone. So you lack the discipline, that you get so angry, you can’t control yourself and you have to start throwing your fists.
“And No. 2, that you’re not really secure with your own masculinity that you say, ‘Oh my God, he said something, I need to go prove I’m tough – pay-yow, I am tough.’ Like shut up, dude. We get it, you’re tough. You fight in a cage.”
The crowd at the press conference couldn’t help but laugh at Askren’s rendition of an octagon caveman. Whether he dodged Masvidal in London or vice versa, he was first to the microphone for their upcoming fight. And the next time they get close, he’ll have his hands up.