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Ben Askren says BMF title actually ‘makes sense’, hopes to cross paths with Jorge Masvidal again

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ben Askren is never going to be the biggest fan of Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz. But when it comes to their fight at UFC 244, which hands the winner a $50,000 ‘baddest motherf—ker’ title, he understands it.

While his entire athletic career from wrestling to MMA has been about becoming the best in the world, Askren concedes the UFC made the right move by striking while the iron was hot in booking Masvidal versus Diaz in November.

Diaz called for the fight against Masvidal following his win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 241. A few twists and turns aside, the promotion quickly seized on the opportunity to match them up in the main event for UFC 244.

As appealing as the matchup is to the general public, there are some fighters who aren’t on board with the idea of creating a ‘BMF’ title just for the sake of handing out a belt. Askren isn’t among those detractors.

“Honestly, I think it works from a marketing angle,” he told MMA Fighting. “I don’t love either one of the guys, but I think it definitely works from a marketing angle. They pitched it correctly, and I think it makes sense.”

Following a knockout loss to Masvidal in July, Askren will attempt to get back on track in late October when he faces Demian Maia in the main event at UFC Fight Night from Singapore.

In a perfect scenario, Askren wins against Maia and then reinserts himself into the title conversation as he continues his pursuit of gold while also hoping to cross paths with Masvidal.

“What I said explicitly was I wanted to come back to see if I was the best in the world,” Askren said. “In that five seconds, we didn’t find that out. We found out Jorge has a fantastic knee and that I’m not invincible, but we didn’t find much else out.

“I think I can bounce back from that pretty quickly and hope that it happens.”

The bad blood between Askren and Masvidal has never gone away – even after their fight – so under the right circumstances a rematch could potentially come together.

Ultimately, Askren’s long term goal is to fight for the UFC title, but avenging his loss to Masvidal would be a sweet reward as well.

“That would be really nice,” Askren said about a rematch. “Again, we’ll see where the division goes and where I’ll be, but I hope so.”

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