Former UFC fighter Kenny Florian praises Jorge Masvidal for taking a big risk and having it pay off.
It’s not often that fighters at the highest of levels in mixed martial arts start a fight by charging at their opponent. Not since the late Kid Yamamoto did it back in 2006 have we seen an elite MMA fighter pull it off to almost instant success. That’s exactly what Masvidal did when he iced Ben Askren with a flying knee in just five seconds at UFC 239.
During the latest edition of the “Anik and Florian” podcast, Florian said he feels Askren was caught off guard by Masvidal’s blitz:
“I think that most fighters when you’re getting ready for let’s say sparing or typically what 90 percent of most fights, you go out there and you feel your opponent. That’s what happens. You get out to the center of the Octagon, you move around a little bit, you shake out a little bit, you throw some jabs, you judge your distance and then you get after it. How often do you start a fight and you see an individual after one or two seconds right in front of your face flying in the air?”
Florian also said that had Jorge Masvidal not succeeded in landing the knee, then the headlines may have been drastically different.
“Even if he did change levels, a lot of times more often than not without a doubt the wrestler wins that exchange. We could be talking about ‘how stupid Jorge Masvidal was. Why did he take that big risk flying at him to go for that knee. We knew Askren was gonna get the easy double leg.’ But no, he’s a hero today. He’s an absolute hero for going for that knee, trusting his gut, having that feeling that Askren was gonna make that reaction and he went for it.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/8/2019.