clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Ben Askren continues feud with Kamaru Usman: ‘I’m so far under his skin and in his head it’s not even funny’

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

ONE Championship

Last week at the UFC 235 press conference, Ben Askren and Kamaru Usman reportedly got into a minor altercation backstage before the event. The two UFC welterweights disputed the details of the incident with Askren saying Usman threatened him while Usman basically said he was keeping things real considering their online beef over the last few months. Then, over the weekend, video of the incident was released showing that only a few words were said before security intervened, footage which Usman says shows he’s not joking around.

Askren disagrees.

Speaking with Ariel Helwani on Monday, Askren responded to the release of the video, calling the situation ‘“laughable” and making fun of Usman for thinking the video made “The Nigerian Nightmare” look tough.

“Can you believe Marty put this video out?” Askren said. “This video makes him look like a dumb-dumb and it was his camera person that put it out! He is bragging about this and this is what I can’t stand about fighters. Listen, we get that you’re tough. You fight in a cage. I understand that perfectly, but he has to come up to me, [when] you know nothing is going to happen back there, Marty! Why are you getting in my face? You know you’re not gonna risk your main event shot by punching me in the back hallway.

“Give me a freaking break. I couldn’t fathom why he was trying to act so tough and what he was trying to do or get out of the situation. If it was intimidation, that’s freakin’ laughable. . . Look at his skinny jeans! You can’t be acting tough when you’re in white skinny jeans and a scarf.”

Askren and Usman’s feud goes back to December when Askren offered to fight Usman for an interim welterweight title at UFC 233 to save the card when it lost its main event. Prior to that, Usman had been one of the few elite welterweights that Askren hadn’t called out because Askren knew Usman somewhat through wrestling and had respect for him. Now, Askren says Usman is just putting on this character and the whole thing is ridiculous because he already offered to fight him anyway.

“He wasn’t gonna do nothing because that’s not who he is,” Askren said. “He wants to act like he’s this crazy, insane tough guy but I knew him from before and he’s not. He’s smart, he’s reasonable and for whatever reason this is the persona that he wants to play, that’s he’s this tough, crazy guy who will fight anyone at anytime. It’s just silly and ridiculous. At no point was he ever threatening me.

“Listen, I offered to fight you. I don’t know how else you want to settle this. I thought that was a fair way to settle it. So I thought it was just all around ridiculous.”

At this point, Askren may well get his wish. Usman challenges Askren’s teammate Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title at UFC 235, the same night Askren takes on former champion Robbie Lawler. If both fighters win or both lose that night, it’s hard to imagine the UFC wouldn’t try to set up a fight between the two next, and that would be just fine for Askren who believes he’s already won the mental battle.

“I am under your skin so bad that I say one thing - I said, ‘Am I sitting next to Marty?’ and he got all pissed,” Askren said. “And the funny thing is, he’s not even like, ‘Marty’s not my name, don’t call me Marty.’ . . He’s not even denying that Marty is his name so I don’t even know what he’s mad about! What is he mad about? I’m so far under his skin and so far in his head it’s not even funny.”


Mad. Stipe Miocic says Daniel Cormier rematch more important to him than UFC title.

Respect. Jose Aldo apologized to Renato Moicano for ‘getting in the way of his dreams’.

Title shot. Junior dos Santos hopes to earn title shot before Daniel Cormier retires.

School. Stephen Thompson thinks Israel Adesanya will ‘school’ Anderson Silva at UFC 234.

Call out. After big win, Charles Oliveira wants Kevin Lee at UFC Miami.


The MMA Hour.

Looking at Bobby Knuckles’ rise to champion.

UFC 234 Embedded.


TTTHS double header.


The Co-Main Event. Discussing Marlon Moraes, Jose Aldo, and UFC 234.

Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC Fortaleza and previewing UFC 234.


Incredible timing.

Khabib with Kadyrov. Not great.

Sounds like we might have a fight.

UFC Wichita poster.

Nice story.







Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    (363 votes)
  • 80%
    (1524 votes)
1887 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it! Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting