Jorge Masvidal returned to the Octagon in top form this past weekend, knocking out top-three welterweight contender Darren Till in the UFC Fight Night 147 main event at the O2 Arena in London, England.
It wasn’t the result Ben Askren expected, as the former ONE FC and Bellator welterweight champion was angling for a top contender’s bout with Till, who he predicted to beat Gamebred at UFC London.
With Till likely to plummet down the rankings following his second consecutive loss, however, Askren has called for a fight against Masvidal, who he accused of ducking him for calling out newly-crowned champ Kamaru Usman instead.
“I would love to fight [Masvidal], but like I said, you heard that post-fight speech, I think he’s trying to find reasons not to fight me,” Askren said Saturday on the UFC London post-fight show, per MMA Fighting. “He’s talking about fight for the belt — prior to this fight, he had two losses in a row. You don’t go from losing two [in a row] to winning one and then all of a sudden you have a belt when there’s all these guys in front of you. It just doesn’t work that way.”
Masvidal just started a fight backstage with Leon Edwards so he doesn’t have to fight me next— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) March 16, 2019
If a bout with Masvidal doesn’t materalize, ‘Funky’ would be willing to take on Leon Edwards, who earned a split decision over Gunnar Nelson in Saturday’s co-main event and then got into a fight with Masvidal backstage.
“I would like someone [ranked] higher [than Edwards], but if that’s who they gave me instead, I would definitely say yes,” continued Askren. “What I was surprised about was his ability to do well in the grappling department. I thought that was the place that Gunnar Nelson had a huge advantage in, and Leon Edwards not only got takedowns, he controlled the position on top, he stuffed all of Gunnar Nelson’s takedowns.”
Askren made his UFC debut earlier this month against Robbie Lawler, submitting the former welterweight champ in a highly controversial bout at UFC 235.
The 34-year-old is hoping to get back in the Octagon as soon as possible but doesn’t know when, exactly, that will be.
“I genuinely don’t know,” Askren said. “They haven’t brought the fight to me yet. They haven’t asked me to do it. I said I’d reevaluate after tonight, so I guess tomorrow maybe we’ll be talking to them and we’ll figure out what’s going to happen.”