On Saturday night, in the middle bout of the UFC 235 main card, former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren made a successful UFC debut, weathering an early storm to submit Robbie Lawler late in the first round. Shortly thereafter UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, Askren’s friend and teammate, had a much more difficult night.
In a minor upset, Woodley was soundly walloped by his challenger Kamaru Usman for five, lopsided rounds, ultimately surrendering the welterweight strap as a result. Usman’s victory understandably impressed a massive portion of the MMA community — but that does not include Ben Askren.
In fact, Askren feels Kamaru Usman — who he calls “Marty” — “fought like a b***h.”
“Marty fought like a b***h,” Askren said bluntly shortly after Usman defeated Woodley.
Ben Askren and Kamaru Usman, to remind, have quite a bit of history together. The pair became acquainted in the earlier phases of their wrestling careers, but as of the last few months, have become bitter rivals.
Their beef came to a head at the first UFC 235 pre-fight press conference, when Usman confronted Askren, right in front of UFC President Dana White, and ultimately had to be pulled away (relive that tense moment right here).
While Ben Askren was adamant that he would not fight his friend Tyron Woodley for the title, the silver lining for him is that, now that Kamaru Usman owns that title, he has a clear path to UFC gold.
Do you think we’ll see these two wrestling specialists fight in the near future?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/3/2019.