Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is expected to crown a new welterweight title contender, or at least push one into a tie with the winner of this fight, when Jorge Masvidal collides with Ben Askren at UFC 239 this weekend in Las Vegas.
The bookies have Askren (19-0, 1 NC) as a pretty sizable favorite heading into “Sin City” based on his top-shelf wrestling, something that has thwarted “Gamebred” in the past (see Maia, Demian). But fellow contender, Darren Till, is not going to call it a wrap just yet.
“I think him and Askren ... I don’t wanna underestimate Masvidal, I wanna stay on the fence with this fight,” Till told Fighters Only. “Masvidal could just pull something off the back or defend the takedowns. Ben’s doing okay and he’s got a lot of hype around him. The thing about Ben is he’s a good fighter, he’s a very smart guy, he just loves the sound of his own voice. Just shut up, mate, give it a rest.”
Masvidal (33-13) is ranked No. 4 in the division, which is surprisingly high when you consider his Till victory snapped a two-fight losing streak. Askren is just one spot behind him at No. 5 after his controversial submission win over Robbie Lawler at UFC 235.
Reigning welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, is not expected to make his Octagon return until November, so don’t expect to have the 170-pound weight class sorted out until later this year, though we still have to figure out what to do with this guy, assuming he’s victorious in this fight.