Ben Askren will look to collect his second win inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon when he faces Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 this Saturday (July 6, 2019) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Despite “Gamebred” having a career resurgence as of late, “Funky” isn’t worried one bit with the threats Jorge brings to the table, calling the matchup a “pretty easy” one for him.
“I think it’s pretty easy,” Askren said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “He’s simple right? He’s got good hands but his wrestling’s not great. His jiu-jitsu’s not great. His strength is not great. His cardio’s not great. So when you break it down like that, it becomes pretty simple.”
So much for this.
With a win, Ben could put himself on the fast track for a shot at the strap in the 170-pound weight class, which now has a new contender in the former of ex-Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who just so happens to train with Askren. But like Tyron Woodley before him, “Funky” says he won’t fight his teammate and says if the two are ever close to a title shot at the same time, that bridge will be crossed when it needs to be.
One person Askren doesn’t see as a threat at 170 pounds is Nate Diaz, the man Pettis will face at UFC 241 next month.
“When it gets down to it, I know Nate Diaz said he’s not a 155 pounder anymore or whatever bulls—t he says but at the end of the day, Nate Diaz is 1-3 at 170 [pounds]. Nate Diaz is a terrible 170-pounder and that’s all there is to it,” he added.
“Anthony versus Nate is going to be fun. I think Anthony is going to kick Nate’s ass and I don’t know that will really affect me that much.”
Still, Ben finds it odd that despite his not-so great record over the years and lack of inactivity, Diaz has somehow remained relevant.
“For what it’s worth, he does a great job making people interested in him. It’s a funny thing because to me he comes off as fairly unintelligent and he says some crazy s—t,” he added. “Like where he said he’s the king of lightweights. It’s kind of funny. In a little demented way, he believes it even though there’s no way it’s close to actually being true. In the same way that a lot of people do, I find it entertaining and in another way it’s like holy s—t this guy is out of his damn mind.”
At the end of the day, Ben won’t lose sleep over the Stockton slugger potentially creeping up behind him in the future.
“He is not a threat in the slightest bit to the welterweight division. I think we’re getting down to the point where he’s just delusional.”
To see who else is fighting at UFC 239: “Jones vs Santos” click here.