Ben Askren’s UFC debut at UFC 235 was clouded with controversy. After picking up a submission win from a disputed stoppage call by referee Herb Dean, the undefeated welterweight called for the winner of UFC London’s headliner between Jorge Masvidal and Darren Till for his next fight.
This callout from Askren did not sit too well with Masvidal, who spoke with MMAjunkie in a pre-fight interview.
“He’s a little groupie, man,” Masvidal said of Askren. “He’s calling my name. Who are you? Herb Dean gifted you a win and you’re calling people out? Give Robbie Lawler the respect you owe.”
Askren has been candid about his refusal to face Lawler in a rematch, which Masvidal also had something to say about.
“As a man, as a fighter, having pride in what I do, I choke somebody out, or I think choke them out, but when I see the replay and see the guy put the thumbs up, in my head, I would say, ‘Man, I didn’t choke this guy out,’” he said. “And as a man, having pride, I would say, ‘Let’s do it again,’ especially after he f—ng decapitated me on the slam, busted up my face. ‘Let’s go it again,’ because I definitely didn’t choke you out. Because I’ve never seen nobody go to sleep like this. That’s the first.
“But that’s how much of a weasel and coward he is. No, no, I’m gone already. I wouldn’t dare repeat that route again. That just shows you his character. He’s a b-tch.”
Askren said he will be sitting cage side at UFC London, which takes place this Saturday at the O2 Arena. It will be co-headlined by another welterweight matchup between Leon Edwards and Gunnar Nelson.