After Ben Askren was thoroughly dominated by Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs at “Beat the Streets” a few weeks back, UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, used the opportunity to take a dig at his old nemesis.
For “The Nigerian Nightmare,” it was simply his way of advising “Funky” that being overly-arrogant isn’t the way to go, because in every arena there will always be somebody better at what you do.
“Ben came in thinking, ‘I’m the best at everything – I’m the best at wrestling, I’m the best at this and that,’” Usman said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “So that (tweet) was just to let him know, ‘Hey, no you’re not. Relax.’ When you go into wrestling, there’s the best guy that’s there. And he went in there and he felt that.”
Undefeated at 19-0-1, 1-0 UFC, Askren has long been known as one of the best Welterweights in the world not fighting inside the Octagon. But now that he’s under the UFC umbrella, “Funky” has the chance to prove he is the best man at 170 pounds. But just like Jordan did to him on the wrestling mat, Usman says he’ll prove that he is Ben’s superior inside the cage.
“Now, if you want to come into the UFC, there’s a guy that’s the best there, too – and that’s me. So when that time comes, and I get my opportunity to show him that, I will gladly do it,” he added.
While a title defense against Colby Covington is likely next for Kamaru, “The Nigerian Nightmare” does have one eye on Askren, as he could be the next contender should he get through Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239.
“Ben Askren was never an issue for me,” Usman said. “He came in, and of course, he wanted to really sell himself. Now, he’s in the big show and he needs to make a splash, and he did that. So I’m glad that everybody’s talking about him. That’s just another guy … that’s waiting for me.”
Asrken has really made an impact in his short time with UFC, even convincing Dana White that he isn’t so bad after all. With his social media trolling game being one of the best in the business, Ben can definitely help sell a big title fight against Usman.
Assuming Tyron Woodley doesn’t come in and spoil the party.