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Ben Askren: If Jorge Masvidal wasn’t so rude, he’d thank me for making him popular and rich

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It’s been close to a month since Jorge Masvidal knocked out Ben Askren in a record-setting five seconds with a flying knee at UFC 239 in Las Vegas, Nevada (see it again here). And while it seems it will likely be years before they ever run it back – if ever – the two men simply can’t help but to badmouth each other in the media.

Then again, if reporters ask, you must oblige.

Still, despite their disdain for one another, Askren is glad he was able to do something nice for Jorge, as he says not only did he make him popular he made him a lot of money overnight. And if “Gamebred" wasn’t so rude, he’d thank him.

“I will acknowledge that I made him this popular. I brought the best in him, So it’s fine, it’s part of the game. We were the most anticipated fight by far on the biggest card of the year. And it definitely wasn’t because Jorge decided not to show up to two different press events. It was because I made it that way,” said Ben on a recent edition of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.

Indeed, Masvidal did miss a pair of media obligations in the leadup to the highly-anticipated Welterweight fight, leaving Ben to pick up the pieces. And while Jon Jones was headlining the event against Thiago Santos (highlights), with Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes being co-anchors (recap), Askren vs Masvidal was the fight everyone wanted to see.

Unfortunately, fight fans didn’t get a 15-minute war, but were gifted a highlight for the ages. For Jorge, he scored hefty payday of $200,000 with an added $50,000 bonus.

“Jorge can say I’m a dick, or whatever the hell he wants to say about me, but if he wasn’t so rude, he should probably say, ‘Thank you for making me a lot of money,’” stated Askren.

For the record, Ben banked a flat rate of $210,000.

While credit should be given to Askren for talking up the fight, Masvidal did do his part, as well. Plus, people were eager to see just how “Gamebred” would follow up his dazzling knockout win over Darren Till a couple of months prior. And if you think his backstage confrontation with Leon Edwards (see it) didn’t raise Masvidal’s stock and fans’ interest in him, you’re kidding yourself.

As for where Ben and Jorge go from here, “Funky” is in talks to face Demian Maia later this year, while Masvidal is holding out to see just what becomes of a potential title fight with Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman now that this other option is out of the question.