Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Ben Askren isn’t quite ready to make his debut yet, but he’s already been making waves by calling out anyone and everyone at welterweight, and Khabib Nurmagomedov for good measure. There is only one guy he won’t fight at 170: his friend and old college wrestling teammate, Tyron Woodley. The only problem is, Woodley is currently the champion. Askren doesn’t see the issue, though, and spelled out his workaround on the MMA Hour. Via MMAFighting.com:
“Me and Tyron aren’t fighting, it’s simple,” Askren told Luke Thomas on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “We are not fighting. We are not fighting — no.”
“I think there’s a lot of scenarios in which I get to prove how good I am and we don’t fight,” Askren said of he and Woodley. “They could create the 165, 175 [divisions]. I think that’s a possibility. It’s almost like the UFC is pushing back a little bit despite how much all the fighters realize it would be beneficial to us. If it were up to the fighters, they’d probably create that division tomorrow, right?
“Dana White said, ‘We’ll never have women fighting in UFC.’ And then they came upon a star named Ronda Rousey and damn, they created the division. Well, maybe the same thing is happening here. Maybe they don’t think Kevin Lee or Dustin Poirier is a big enough star. Sure, they’re great fighters. Maybe they’re waiting for ‘Funky’ Ben to come and get down. Maybe that’s what they’re waiting for.”
Even if the UFC doesn’t create division that it seems every fighter between 155 and 170 is calling for these days, Askren has options, and he didn’t hesitate to call a few of those options out. The first person he has been stoking beef with is Colby Covington.
“My objection is he’s a moron,” Askren said of Covington. “His lines are written for him, his wrestling sucks. And he’s appealing to the lowest common denominator of MMA fans. The people who are writing his lines are realizing the stupid shit people will react to and then he’s saying it. There’s just a much more eloquent way to say things. And it’s like if you’re so dumb and you’re so desperate that you’ve gotta play the Donald Trump card to get people interested in it — because that does get people interested in 2018. If you look at any news source, everything revolves around what Donald Trump says, right?
“I think he’s playing the lowest common denominator. I think his wrestling sucks. I think his fighting is not very good. And I just generally don’t like the guy. I think he’s a moron.”
He didn’t mince words when it came to others on the roster, either, singling out Masvidal in particular:
“This is the thing about these idiots,” Askren said. “I trained with Jorge Masvidal when I’ve been training MMA for 2-1/2 months in Coconut Creek, Fla., in like December 2008. I was beating him up then! Luke, I was in MMA for 2-1/2 months and he was no problem for me. Like, give me a break, dude. He’s out here talking on Twitter, like listen, you suck. Compared to me you sucked when I was doing MMA for 2-1/2 months. Imagine what would happen now.”
Either way, Askren is excited that he won’t go down as a ‘what could have been’ fighter. Finding out just how good he is, is far more important to him than protecting his 18-0 record.
“We didn’t know [before],” Askren said. “We don’t know if I was as good as I say I am. Nobody knows. We haven’t seen it. Everybody wants a finality, everyone wants closure and we didn’t have closure on this. And now we’re gonna get closure.
“And for me, I didn’t want to protect my record. I don’t give a damn about my record. I want to go and fight the best guys in the world and show people I’m the best. And hey, if something doesn’t go my way — I don’t think that’s gonna happen, I realize that’s a possibility in competition and that’s what happens. But we’re gonna get some finality, we’re gonna get some closure and we’re gonna see what’s going down.”
The UFC 232 poster has dropped!
Ben Askren may still be blocked by Dana White on Twitter but at least the promoter is now following him on Instagram!
Is Derrick Lewis foreshadowing his fight with Cormier here? The GOAT gets ridden for awhile until the rider stops paying attention and WHAM! Knockout.
There is a rumor going around that Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Georges St. Pierre is in the works for 2019! It is exactly what I would do as a promoter… even though Tony Ferguson has richly earned a title fight.
Nick Newell had a pretty good idea that seems unlikely but could potentially make everyone happy
Khabib vs GSP
Tony vs Conor
— Nick Newell (@NotoriousNewell) October 29, 2018
Khabib’s manager is talking some backhanded trash to Tony Ferguson
You’re a good guy and you deserve a big fight. You should fight conor or Nate or Gaethje or gsp I’m a big fan and love watching you fight but you’re one of the easiest fights in the top 5 stylistically for the eagle https://t.co/Zqe2acgU7z
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) October 29, 2018
Malki Kawa, the always reliable truthteller, says his client Demetrious Johnson is getting paid even more than Eddie Alvarez by ONE Championship. Still, he must be getting paid more than he was by the UFC if he keeps saying the move is good for his family.
Anthony Smith may not be favored to beat Jon Jones, but he has certainly done enough to earn a title shot.
Jessica Eye didn’t have a great Monday morning
That’s not how it’s suppose to work…
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) October 29, 2018
This must have been such an awful moment for Rockhold.
Demetrious Johnson is in a better place (for him) now:
The GOAT, Derrick Lewis, a week out from winning heavyweight gold:
Daniel Cormier claims his hand is healed up- and predicts a third-round armbar of Derrick Lewis
“I sparred… 41 rounds for this fight.” Daniel Cormier says his hand is healed up and he was ‘really letting ’em go’ in sparring the other day. #HelwaniShow
— Reality Winner (@Vorpality) October 29, 2018
— Reality Winner (@Vorpality) October 29, 2018
Khabib has been stepping up his video game
Jon Jones draws confidence from the people surrounding him, and quotes a scripture fit for the moment.
So, this is the guy who will be taking on Urijah Hall next: Bevon Lewis.
This guy will need a gas mask to continue grappling
Josh Thomson didn’t expect this from Uber.
Don’t be this guy!
I don’t know who the fighter is, but this fella just did this to his own trainer after his fight here in Bulgaria. He lost the fight btw pic.twitter.com/rxEt1WTphy
— Kugan Cassius (@KuganCassius) October 27, 2018
Equally terrible, but far more depressing, was the news that Stephan Bonnar has been arrested- by citizens, no less- for felony DUI. See his mugshot here.
Slips, Rips, and KO Clips
This clip is mesmerizing because the karate kid really thought he could try this stuff in a fight.
A much higher level counter:
Israel Adesanya vs. Derek Brunson will be a fascinating test for the Stylebender’s unique striking abilities.
Misha Cirkunov is a beast, and proved it with a quick win against Patrick Cummins
Misha Cirkunov (14-4) is the first to submit Patrick Cummins, falling into mount and cinching an arm triangle choke for the first-round tap. Snapping a two-fight skid, the Latvian-Canadian has finished 12 of 14 wins, 10 in the first round, and eight by submission. #UFCMoncton pic.twitter.com/MgVaFjeiuS
— Tanuki Usman (@Hamderlei) October 28, 2018
Nasrat Haqparast has a face like a smaller Kelvin Gastelum and a name that sounds like coughing up a loogie, but he’s a dangerous prospect in his own right:
An old Bas Rutten highlight? Why not!
These things do happen in MMA…
I can’t take this level of cuteness.