By the time Ben Askren first stepped inside the UFC Octagon, the former two-time D1 collegiate wrestling champion already had a decorated combat sports career. Unbeaten through the first 10 years and 20 bouts of his MMA journey, Askren picked up titles in Bellator and ONE Championship—before finally signing with the world’s largest MMA promotion in 2019, after a short lived retirement.
For all his hard work and accolades, however, the lasting memory of Askren for many modern MMA fans came just five seconds into his second UFC bout—when Jorge Masvidal sprinted across the cage and sent Askren sprawling with a perfectly placed flying knee.
The decisive finish set a new record as the fastest knockout in UFC history, and it helped rocket Masvidal to fame and fortune as one of MMA’s biggest stars. So, who better to talk to than Askren following the unveiling of ‘Gamebred’’s newest piece of body art? A shoulder tattoo commemorating the flying knee that sent ‘Funky’ Ben astral traveling.
“It’s terrible,” Askren told Ariel Helwani, in reference to Masvidal’s new ink, on a recent episode of the MMA Hour (transcript via MMA Fighting). “Oh God, it just looks like crap. That’s something like a teenager gets and you’re like, ‘Oh sh-t, I thought that was going to look a lot better, I thought this was going to be really badass but it looks kind of dopey.’ He’s rich. He can go to the best tattoo artist in the place.”
“I think it’s semi-telling how important that singular moment was to his career,” Askren added. “He knows it and tattooed it on his body because it was that important to him.”
Jorge Masvidal is sporting a logo featuring his flying knee against Ben Askren #UFC272 pic.twitter.com/pjwysnN1ul
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 4, 2022
Askren also gave a few thoughts on Masvidal’s recent loss to Colby Covington, notably that he was annoyed by the longtime ATT talent’s continued insistence that things would go differently if he saw Covington out on the street.
“The thing that I get annoyed about is Jorge wants to fight him after the fight,” Askren explained. “And it’s like, you just had 25 minutes to do almost anything you want. You can’t eye gouge and bite — we’ve got a couple rules, but not a lot — so you can do whatever you want for 25 minutes, and now you’re going to act like you want more? Hey, you had 25 minutes, freaking do it to him.”
The longtime Roufusport fighter hasn’t competed in MMA since a 2019 submission loss to Demian Maia. Askren retired after that fight, citing the need for hip surgery. In 2021 he made his professional boxing debut, losing to celebrity pugilist Jake Paul via first round KO.
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