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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Alex Pattle

Ben Askren open to Jorge Masvidal rematch at UFC 300 despite five-second loss

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Ben Askren has said he is open to a rematch with Jorge Masvidal at UFC 300, almost five years after losing to his fellow American in historic fashion.

Masvidal knocked out Askren with a flying knee just five seconds into their bout in July 2019, setting a record for the fastest KO in UFC history.

The fight was Askren’s second in the UFC, following a successful but controversial debut against Robbie Lawler and previous title runs in Bellator and One Championship. After his submission win against Lawler, replays suggested that Lawler had not in fact lost consciousness, despite referee Herb Dean’s stoppage. Askren fought once more in the UFC, losing to Demian Maia by submission in October 2019.

Askren, a former Olympic wrestler, retired from MMA after his loss to Maia, while Masvidal retired in April 2023 after losing to Gilbert Burns. After beating Askren, Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz via TKO but then lost four fights in a row, including his loss to Burns.

However, Masvidal simply tweeted, “Unretired,” this week, leading to speculation that the 39-year-old could return to the UFC. While some fans believe that “Gamebred” is referring to a potential boxing match, Askren has said he would take the opportunity to fight Masvidal again.

Askren, 39, told former Olympic teammate and ex-UFC champion Daniel Cormier on Thursday (4 January): “Listen, if Dana [White, UFC president] called me and said, ‘Jorge Masvidal, UFC 300,’ I don’t give a damn – I’m out of retirement.

“I’ll fight him, I don’t care. I would love to, but he’ll never say yes to that unless he loses some more money or something. But it would be great.

“It’s one of those things... I don’t want to be begging and grovelling for it. It’s unlikely to happen. So it’s like, if someone calls me and says it’s going to happen, okay, I’m there. If they don’t, I’m just going to live my life.

“I’m ready. I stay in shape. I’m wrestling a lot. I don’t strike much – I don’t strike at all, I just wrestle. But I’m in good shape. If he wants to fight, great, but I’m not going to campaign for it.”

Askren boxed once professionally after retiring from MMA, losing to YouTube star Jake Paul via first-round knockout in 2021.

Masvidal’s KO of Askren and subsequent TKO of Diaz capped off his career-best year, in which Gamebred had already knocked out Britain’s Darren Till in London.

Masvidal then challenged for the welterweight title on short notice in 2020, losing to Kamaru Usman on points. In their rematch in 2021, Usman won via KO.

Masvidal then lost a lopsided decision against friend-turned-rival Colby Covington in 2022, before bowing out of the UFC with his defeat by Burns.

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