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Morning Report: Kamaru Usman confronts Ben Askren backstage at UFC 235 press conference

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Since the UFC announced it signed undefeated welterweight Ben Askren in the first trade in major MMA history, the outspoken wrestler has been picking fights with just about everyone even in the vicinity of the 170-pound division. But over the past month or so, most of Askren’s ire has been directed at the man who will be challenging his teammate, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, for the belt at UFC 235, Kamaru Usman.

Usman and Askren have been engaging in a war of words on social media recently, at the recent pre-fight press conference for UFC 235, Askren said those words almost turned into punches backstage when Usman “threatened” him backstage.

“Marty tried attacking me 20 minutes ago” Askren said at the press conference.

Usman disputed the claim and now we have video evidence of what really happened, courtesy of Anatomy of a Fighter. The video shows Usman approaching Askren backstage before Dana White and security intervene, and while things weren’t quite as physical as had been made out, the situation certainly seemed combustible.

“Are me and Marty sitting next to each other?” Askren asked White.

“Do you know me?” - Usman asked.

“Yeah.” - Askren said.

“How do you know me?” - Usman asked.

“I know you because we used to hang out. We used to hang out at the Olympic training center.” - Askren said.

“Be quiet. You don’t know me.” - Usman said.

“I offered to fight you. There’s not much more to be said there.” - Askren said.

Askren did indeed offer to fight Usman, which is the genesis of their beef. In December, Askren offered to fight Usman for an interim title to save UFC 233. Usman was supposed to fight Colby Covington at UFC 233 but the fight never came to fruition and the card was subsequently canceled entirely. This simple offer rubbed Usman the wrong way though and since then the two welterweights have been at each other’s throats and it seems like the Twitter beef is destined to continue.

This surely won’t be the last we see of this budding feud as both men are set to compete at UFC 235. Usman will be challenging Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title while Askren will make his promotional debut against former champion Robbie Lawler.


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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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