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MMA SQUARED, Best Story of 2019: Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren

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Each man made the other one greater every step of the way.

Jorge Masvidal went on a reality show and during the isolation from family and friends, media, and other distractions, he found himself as a fighter. He resolved to “end” his opponents, and in the process made himself into the biggest UFC star of 2019.

March 16th, 2019: Knock out Darren Till, go backstage for an interview, pause to light up Leon Edwards, then return to the interview and meme yourself into the news cycle with Three Piece and a Soda.

This day alone outshines the entire career of most fighters.

Meanwhile, Ben Askren waltzed into the UFC and got knocked out by Robbie Lawler but still came away with a win and gloated as though he was on his way to a title.

Somehow these two men got put on a collision course that would define their careers from here on out.

July 6th, 2019. Knock out Ben Askren with fastest KO in UFC history. Meme him to death via post fight interview, introduce “Super Necessary” into the cultural lexicon and launch into the MMA stratosphere.

Then get hand picked by the UFC’s only other self made man, Nate Diaz, after his win against Anthony Pettis to fight for a belt that Nate made up in his post fight interview. Headline a PPV at MSG.

Leave you ex friend in the dust.

Make Dana White, a man who has never said your name before, sing your praises and tout your presence as a gift to the people whose money he so desperately covets.

Beat the heck out of Nate Diaz, but have a doctor stop the fight so you both come out looking badass.

Then your nemesis Ben Askren gets put to sleep by Demian Maia and retires.

To cap it off your ex-friend Colby Covington behaves so reprehensibly that you and Askren have a public reconciliation where you show each other respect (on twitter, no less) to the point that I had to make a six-panel storybook ending to the best rivalry and storyline of 2019.

You cannot write a more feel-good-about-concussing-people story. Jorge Masvidal transformed not only his career but the entire MMA community’s perception of him by simply being himself to the Nth degree.

This has been your MMA Squared Stories of 2019 recap. I hope you enjoyed the year in cartoons, and I’m looking forward to an even better 2020. Thanks for your support. I have been on a much needed break from the internet so take care of yourself and I will be back to talk to you about whatever cartoon dumpster fire burns brightest next week.

Chris Rini