Jorge Masvidal always knew that Jake Paul would finish Ben Askren when the two met in a boxing match earlier this month on pay-per-view. After all, “Gamebred” finished Askren in six seconds at UFC 239 and knows exactly how to put “Funky” away.
While most of the MMA world was pulling for Askren to finally shut Paul up and send him back to his life of social media posts and YouTube videos, Masvidal was rooting for Paul to come out with the win. “Gamebred” even helped train the young entertaining in the lead up to the boxing match (watch it HERE) and seemed eager to help him defeat a former UFC fighter.
Luckily for Masvidal, his efforts paid off. Paul absolutely swarmed Askren in the early going of their fight and ended up landing a monstrous right hand that sent “Funky” crashing to the canvas (highlights HERE). It was a beautiful knockout finish, especially for someone with a limited background in combat sports like Paul, but not something that surprised Masvidal.
“All I gotta say is, I told you so, I told everybody. The MMA world was mad at me that, you know, he was representing MMA,” Masvidal told ESPN. “Never. Never not once ever was he representing MMA. How dare anybody say that guy is representing MMA, when every interview he’s ever done about strikers is, ‘I don’t need to strike, I can just wrestle these guys to the ground.’
“And he’s been saying that in interviews for ten years plus, and now we’re supposed to get behind this guy who doesn’t respect mixed martial arts,” Masvidal continued. “Because it is mixed martial arts, it’s not just wrestling, or just boxing, you know. So obviously, when he went in there, I mean called it. I was the first guy to call it.”
While Paul will sit down to figure out his next boxing opponent Masvidal will have his own opportunity to capture combat greatness this weekend at UFC 261 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Masvidal will be meeting UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in a main event rematch.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 261 fight card right HERE, starting with the early ESPN2/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.