It appears the UFC is moving on from rebooking Ben Askren against Robbie Lawler and instead looking at a potential showdown against Jorge Masvidal.
Askren made his debut in early March when he submitted Lawler with a first round bulldog choke. The fight ended in controversy after Lawler popped up immediately after referee Herb Dean called a stop to the contest and a replay showed that the former welterweight champion gave a thumbs up just before the end to declare that he was OK to continue.
Regardless, the UFC is now moving past that fight and instead looking at Askren versus Masvidal later this year.
“That is the fight that I want to do and we started working on that stuff and then we started going in another direction,” UFC president Dana White revealed when asked about Askren vs. Lawler 2 on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
“We’re actually talking about Ben Askren versus Masvidal right now.”
Masvidal is fresh off a second round knockout against Darren Till and immediately jumped up in the UFC rankings one spot ahead of Askren.
It seems like a natural fit for the UFC to look at booking that fight but Askren later dropped a video claiming that Masvidal might be avoiding him.
“So here’s the deal, Dana came out this morning and said they’re looking to do me and Masvidal. I heard that, I said yes last week. It didn’t take me more than 10 seconds to say of course Jorge, let’s do this, you think you’re a gangster,” Askren said.
“Well now I’m hearing he’s getting cold feet and he doesn’t want to do it. He doesn’t want to fight me because he’s scared. Jorge, just tell the people are you scared. If you’re scared, I will move onto somebody else. If you’re not scared, June 8, Chicago, I’m free, you’re free, let’s do this.”
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) March 26, 2019
UFC 238 takes place in Chicago on June 8, just a couple of hours down the road from Askren’s hometown of Milwaukee.
Obviously, Askren is interested in the fight but he’s not so sure that Masvidal is on board.
It’s really simple. The winner’s probably going to get a title shot, Jorge, so there’s quite a bit on the line,” Askren stated. “I think it would be in your best interest to stop being a chicken and just say yes.”