A heavily hyped main card grudge match between Masvidal and previously undefeated Ben Askren ended in just five seconds (yes, five seconds) when Askren ducked into a flying knee that immediately rendered him inert upon contact. Masvidal could not have timed his attack better and he explained at the evening’s post-fight press conference that such an opening maneuver was part of the plan all along even if he hadn’t expected it to be quite so effective.
“He’s so predictable. He’s a scrub,” Masvidal said. “Part of me just wanted to throw it out there so he knew like, if you do shoot like an idiot like you only know how to, your head’s gonna get clipped and that would put the brakes on him, then I’d beat him up for 14 minutes and 30 seconds and execute him.
“Or he took the bait. I put my hands behind my back, he probably thought we were going to f*cking pattycake it up or something, I don’t know. But he walked right into it, you know?”
“I could just see how eager he was just to come forward,” Masvidal added. “So I put my hands behind my back and let him think come eat. He didn’t know it was going to be a buffet though. He thought it was going to be a three piece but no, you getting the whole f*cking MGM Grand Buffet to the face, man!”
Masvidal could have walked off once the knee landed, but he jumped in for a couple of hard follow-up punches before referee Jason Herzog could step in. Even though it appeared that Askren would not be offering resistance anytime soon, in Masvidal’s eyes there was no reason to hesitate or pause until the bout was officially over.
“They were super necessary,” Masvidal said, before elaborating when asked for further clarification. “The referee hadn’t pulled me off. My job is to hit somebody until the referee pulls me off. So to those people I would say maybe don’t watch MMA, go back to soccer.”
“He got the headbuster, no longer with his clavicle, he got all types of shit,” Masvidal continued. “Then he got those punches to the face because I thought he was gonna get up (laughs).”
Sixteen of Masvidal’s last 20 fights have gone to a decision, though he has now posted back-to-back violent KOs by starching Askren and recent welterweight title challenger Darren Till. The 47-fight veteran has gold in his sights now and he’s eager to have a matchup with champion Kamaru Usman as soon as possible.
“It could be tomorrow,” Masvidal said. “I’m ready. As you see, I know they said I was in a fight, the rumors are saying that I was in a fight, but I wasn’t. A fight is usually longer than five seconds. So I wasn’t in a fight. No injuries. I’m ready to go tomorrow.”
For the most part, Masvidal sounded pleased with himself for having vanquished Askren, a former collegiate wrestling star known for his willingness to trash talk anyone. However, he admitted that there was a whole lot more punishment he’d been planning to dish out and while the outcome was an awful one for Askren, it could have been much, much worse.
“My whole vision of this, if you could get inside my head and replay my thoughts, were me beating his ass for 14 minutes and then putting him out like that,” Masvidal said. “I really wanted to hurt him for as long as I could, as much as I could, destroy his kneecaps, bust his ribs, make him piss blood and then send him home packing.
“I think in a way he got off easy.”