UFC News: Ben Askren picks Jorge Masvidal as his 'Fighter of the Year' for 2019
Jorge Masvidal had a great year in 2019 with three finishes under his belt and a new feather in the form of the BMF title added to his cap. Among the three, one went down in history as not only one of the greatest knockouts of all time, but quite literally the fastest UFC has ever seen.
Despite being on the receiving end of the infamous 5-second KO, Ben Askren does not shy away from giving credit where it is due. He clearly had no qualms about declaring 'Gamebred' as his chosen 'Fighter of the Year' for 2019 in his appearance on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show with ESPN.
Ben Askren: I think he deserves it
Even though no one saw it coming before the year started, the MMA world collectively agrees that Masvidal pretty much owned the year with victories over the likes of Darren Till, Ben Askren and his BMF title rival, Nate Diaz. Speaking from a non-biased point of view, Askren agrees to the same.
"I’d like to pick Israel Adesanya over him, but I think – I feel like that would be disingenuous. If I have to look at it from a non-biased perspective, it’s freakin’ Jorge, and if you said that was going to happen a year ago, everyone would have said ‘You’re on drugs,’ or have some type of issue. But unfortunately, I think he deserves it."
When asked if he feels bad about having to admit it, Askren said he had no hard feelings towards Masvidal. He said that he it definitely does not feel good, but it does not hurt him either - it is what it is.
Askren, the former Bellator and One Championship Welterweight Champion, also announced his retirement from fighting owing to a hip replacement surgery he needs. He said he might give television commentary for MMA events a try, now that his career inside the Octagon was over.