Ben Askren believes he played a huge role in Jorge Masvidal becoming one of the biggest stars in the UFC.
Askren was on the receiving end of one of the most memorable knockouts of all time when Masvidal connected with a devastating flying knee in just five seconds at UFC 239 last summer.
It was the fastest finish in UFC history, ending a bitter rivalry that had captivated fans and solidifying Masvidal’s status as a main event player.
Ben Askren believes he deserves some credit for Jorde Masvidal’s newfound star power
Masvidal’s star power grew exponentially after the emphatic win, the American getting a fight with fan-favourite Nate Diaz for the BMF belt, which he won.
He now finds himself fighting for the welterweight title at UFC 251 on Saturday with the vast majority of fans behind him and Askren thinks he deserves some credit.
‘I put the spotlight on him,’ the now retired Askren told Ariel Helwani on ESPN.
Masvidal knocked Aksren out in just five seconds when they fought at UFC 239 last summer
‘His Twitter followers, his Instagram followers, it went five (times higher). I put the spotlight on him. I played the foil to him.
‘I let him shine, unfortunately, I thought I was going to crush him. He says some of these things like the ‘three-piece and a soda’ that maybe he isn’t intentionally funny, but again it’s really authentic and people love that.
‘When he said f***ing ‘super necessary,’ which I feel like he was kind of a douche for punching me when I was already unconscious – that was just unnecessary, but he says it was ‘super necessary.’
‘You know what? It is pretty funny. I was the dude that got punched and listen – that was Jorge being real, and that was kind of funny.
‘Even though I thought he was a douchebag for punching me when I was unconscious, it was kind of funny.
‘So, yes, there is a certain authenticity to Jorge that people really, really enjoy.’
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