ONE Championship president reacts to Ben Askren’s first loss
UFC 239 took place in Las Vegas last weekend and this is when Ben Askren (19-1, 1NC) sustained his first defeat. The talented fighter was knocked out by Jorge Masvidal (34-13) just 5 seconds into the fight when Masvidal threw a flying knee and then landed two more blows onto already unconscious Askren.
Ben Askren was signed by UFC as a result of historical deal between UFC and ONE Championship where he was the welterweight champion and one of the main stars. Naturally, Askren’s first defeat couldn’t go unnoticed by the ONE president Chatri Sityodtong who picked the fight to pieces and posted his reaction in Facebook.
“People have been bombarding me for my thoughts on Ben Askren. To save time, here is what I think:
1) Jorge’s flying knee was not luck. He drilled it. He planned it. He executed it. Jorge Masvidal deserves all of the props for pulling off a super hard, gutsy technique. It takes huge balls to go for it the way Jorge did, especially at the start of a high stakes fight. I am now a huge Gamebred fan.
2) A flying knee is a high risk, low probability technique with KO consequences. It rarely lands clean. However, if you land it clean, it is good night.
3) Despite this spectacular 5 second flying knee KO, it does not mean Jorge is a better fighter than Ben. If they fought another 100 times, Jorge would unlikely score a flying knee KO in 5 seconds ever again.
4) It is genuinely hard to say who is the better fighter. We never got to see their skills in action in any area of the game.
5) If Jorge had dominated Ben for 1-2 rounds and then scored a flying knee KO (or even won via unanimous decision), I would have agreed that Jorge is better than Ben.
It might sound counterintuitive, but I still believe Ben is the single best welterweight on the planet today. This loss reminds me of the time GSP got KO’d by Matt Serra. It was a huge upset, but it did not necessarily mean that Matt Serra was better than GSP. Their rematch emphatically proved this point.
Ben might look like he just got off a couch after eating a plateful of cheeseburgers and donuts, but do not be fooled. Ben is an absolute MONSTER. His wrestling is terrifying. And, his ground intelligence, man strength, and cardio are unparalleled. Don’t count Ben out. He is just getting started.”
Ben Askren made his UFC debut this March by defeating former champ Robbie Lowler via submission in a rather controversial fight. Askren won the ONE Welterweight Championship belt in 2014 after he defeated Nobutatsu Suzuki by a first-round TKO. He defended his title three times – against Agilan Thani, Zebaztian Kadestam, and Shinya Aoki.