While the fight wasn’t the main or co-main event, Masvidal vs. Askren was arguably the most talked about showdown on the entire card.
The result could have never been predicted after Masvidal exploded out of his corner, blasting Askren with a flying knee that immediately rendered the former Olympic wrestler unconscious.
As much attention as the fight received, Masvidal claims he never bought into the Askren hype and even told the UFC as much when they offered him the matchup for July.
“I told the UFC officials I’m so happy you gave me an easy fight but isn’t it a step back, shouldn’t I be getting better guys?” Masvidal said about Askren when appearing on the “Dan LeBatard Show”. “And they were like ‘no, Ben’s the real deal’ and I go ‘OK, we’ve got different opinions, whatever, we’ll shortly find out’.
“I showed it. We’re not in the same league by any means necessary.”
Askren was undefeated heading into the contest with a perfect 19-0 record but he nearly tasted defeat in his UFC debut after former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler tossed him on his head and bludgeoned him with punches in the opening seconds of their fight back in March.
Askren survived and eventually locked on a bulldog choke submission that earned him a stoppage victory over Lawler.
There was no such luck for a comeback in his bout against Masvidal after he was flattened by that initial flying knee and the fight was over in a matter of seconds.
Masvidal doesn’t expect to run into Askren again but he promises that the outcome would be the same no matter how many times they fought each other.
According to Masvidal, it’s possible Askren would survive past the five second mark in the opening round but the end result would still be him laid out unconscious on the canvas.
“Every time me and that guy are going to fight, he’s going to have to close the distance. It’s going to be similar outcomes every time,” Masvidal said. “Not that it’s going to be a flying knee every time but I’ve got different weapons that I’ve got prepared for him. Embrace the shot and try to take me down, it’s not going to happen. You’ve got to be slightly more sophisticated.”
With a pair of consecutive knockouts on his record, Masvidal is now ready to move onto bigger and better opportunities. He already called out former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor and he’s also made it clear he would love a shot at reigning welterweight king Kamaru Usman.
As long as it’s a step up in competition or a hefty paycheck involved, Masvidal is on board.
“I just want to fight the best guys that there is in the world and make the most money out of it,” Masvidal stated. “Because I’m finally in the position after 16 years.”