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Ben Askren fires back at Jorge Masvidal over rematch talk: ‘He’s scared of being embarrassed’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ben Askren isn’t joking about his potential rematch with Jorge Masvidal.

The former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion continued his war of words with Masvidal in his latest appearance on his Funky & The Champ show. Speaking with co-host Daniel Cormier, Askren fired back at Masvidal’s offer of a boxing rematch and suggested there’s a reason Masvidal hasn’t been nearly as interested in running things back in MMA.

“That’s why he won’t do it, “Askren said on Cormier’s YouTube channel. “So he’s not scared of fighting and he’s not scared of the pain, right? But there’s multiple fears. What he’s scared of is being embarrassed. Right? I’ll pull his hair, I’ll rub his face in the ground for about 15 minutes and leave him with some mat burns here. He’ll be real embarrassed.”

“There’s lots of fears we can have in life,” Askren later added. “We, as men, Daniel, we can have lots of fears. I’ll tell you what I’m scared of — I’m scared of snakes. I’m scared of sharks. I won’t go in deep water, I don’t mess with them sharks, that’s their house. Right? Jorge Masvidal, he’s not scared of a fight, he’s not scared of a physical altercation. He’s scared of being embarrassed and losing status, that’s what he’s scared of.”

Askren and Masvidal infamously fought in 2019 at UFC 239, a grudge match that ended with Masvidal flattening Askren in just five seconds with a flying knee. The highlight-reel finish still stands as the fastest knockout in UFC history and helped propel Masvidal to overnight superstardom. Askren only fought once more in his MMA career before retiring, while Masvidal went on to headline four consecutive UFC pay-per-views and challenge for the UFC welterweight title twice before finally hanging up his gloves this past April.

Masvidal, 38, threw down the gauntlet for a boxing rematch to TMZ Sports this past July.

“Hey, Ben,” Masvidal said. “I’ll beat your ass with both hands behind my back. Ben’s so bad at boxing. He’s the one that said it. Look, Ben, I’ll only give you the rematch in boxing, motherf*****. People will tune in because I can’t knee him in the face, right? Maybe Ben can ‘get his way now.’

“Hey, Ben, kiss my ass, you coming out of retirement. I’ll send you right back into it, motherf*****. This guy, bro.”

Askren, 39, told Cormier that he planned on leaving the rivalry alone until Masvidal’s recent comments.

“I don’t know why he brought it up again, because it was dead to me and then he said he wanted to box me. Like, why would I do that? That’s dumb,” Askren said.

“But you know what? When he said he’ll retire, I’m like, OK, whatever. That’s the only fight I want. I don’t want to fight anyone else, I don’t really like fighting anymore. I coach wrestling and that’s it. But if he wants to fight, I would love to fight him. And the first time, what I had to resort to, because Daniel, we all have egos and the one thing that drives fighters crazy — because if you fight in a cage, you’re probably a really tough guy — is when you start being really dismissive and just treating them like a b****. People can’t handle that, and they’ve got to puff their feathers out, and they’ve got to be like, ‘Alright, I’m going to get you.’ And that was what I had to do the first time, so I might have to start doing that again.”

When warned by Cormier that his continual prodding of Masvidal may prompt some out-of-the-cage retribution as “Gamebred” did with Colby Covington, Askren countered by saying he’d use the opportunity to coerce Masvidal into actually accepting the fight.

“Here’s what I would do. I would say, ‘I will sue you, unless you fight me in a cage,’” Askren said, laughing.

Askren also noted that a submission isn’t what he’ll be hunting for in the rematch.

“Beat him [up] for 15 minutes,” Askren suggested instead.

“That’s all I want. Listen, very few times in life do we get one back. I would love to get one back. I would like to try again, that’s what I would like to do.”

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