Former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion, Ben Askren has claimed that he made incoming UFC welterweight title challenger, Jorge Masvidal “famous” ahead of his April professional boxing match against polarizing YouTuber, Jake Paul.
Askren, who met with the BMF championship holder, Masvidal at UFC 239 in July of 2019, suffered his first professional loss against the Florida veteran, via a record-setting five-second flying-knee knockout loss. The defeat marked Askren’s first professionally, prior to a rear-naked choke loss to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout, Demian Maia three months later — before he called time on his career.
Set to make a return to active-competition on April 17th. — Askren makes his professional boxing debut under the Triller banner, as he draws the 2-0 Paul at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Off the back of the victory, Masvidal’s stock amongst fans grew considerably, leading to a symbolic BMF championship clash with Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in November at Madison Square Garden, where he notched a third round doctor’s stoppage victory.
In the time since, Masvidal headlined UFC 251 on short-notice, suffering a one-sided unanimous decision loss to incumbent welterweight kingpin, Kamaru Usman — snapping his three-fight rise. On April 24th. at a sold-out Vystar Veteran’s Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida — Masvidal returns to the Octagon in a rematch against Usman, a week following Askren’s professional boxing debut.
Recently featuring at a press conference alongside Paul to promote their April 17th. boxing match, Askren traded barbs with the 24-year-old Ohio native, who video called Masvidal during one of the verbal exchanges, with the Miami native questioning; “is that dude (Ben Askren) still alive?“
Firing more barbs at Askren, Masvidal claimed that ahead of the proclaimed boxing vs. MMA matchup of Paul and Askren, the former Olympian doesn’t represent mixed martial arts in that battle.
“The individual I buried does not represent MMA,” Masvidal wrote. “He represents all the hardcore and casual crotch sniffers #andnew.”
In response, Askren claimed that he had made Masvidal “famous” off the back of their summer 2019 matchup. And predicted Usman would lodge another one-sided decision win over the challenger in April.
“I’ve refrained for two years, but let’s be real Jorge (Masvidal),” Askren wrote. “You landed the luckiest knee of your life and I made you famous. You’re welcome. You got 50-43’d by (Kamaru) Usman and will likely again next month. Beat it loser.“