Ben Askren is continuing to show his strength of character in the face of a rough end to his UFC career by naming Jorge Masvidal as his ‘Fighter Of The Year.’
Askren was of course infamously KO’d in just 5 seconds by a Masvidal flying knee last year and was even subject to continued verbal abuse from his rival in the days afterwards, but the former Bellator and ONE FC champion has since chosen to rise above that.
“I’d like to pick Israel Adesanya over him [As Fighter Of The Year], but I think – I feel like that would be disingenuous,” Askren said on Ariel Helwani MMA Show (transcript by MMA Junkie). “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.
“It doesn’t hurt me. That’s what it is – that’s the truth. That’s the reality of the situation: It doesn’t hurt at all. Now, does it feel good? No, it doesn’t feel good, either. But it’s not … that’s what happened.”
Meanwhile, Askren has also revealed that he has auditioned with ESPN for a potential commentating role.
“I interviewed with @espn yesterday, we will see what comes of it,” Askren told a fan on Twitter who had asked whether he’d ever considered doing commentary.