Askren Hopes Masvidal Doesn’t Ruin UFC 239

Jorge Masvidal did not appear at a press conference ahead of UFC 239 this week, but his opponent, Ben Askren, isn’t bothered by his absence. He just hopes Masvidal doesn’t do anything to spoil the event for either of them.

The UFC held a press conference in Los Angeles, California, to promote next week’s event, but Masvidal did not show up, claiming he missed his flight. This isn’t the first time he did not appear at a press conference in the event’s build-up, as he also did not attend a Summer Kickoff press conference held in April prior to UFC 236.

Askren seemed anything but bothered with his opponent not in sight, however. He claimed himself to be 2-0 at press conferences and walked across the stage to get his hand raised by UFC President Dana White. Some may feel Masvidal is not showing up in an attempt to play mind games with Askren, but it seems the former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion doesn’t care.

“I don’t know. Maybe there was a car accident. I’m not sure,” Asken said. “Maybe IHOP didn’t serve him his pancakes in time. I don’t know what his problem is.”

Their fight at UFC 239 may have even higher stakes than originally planned. With the announcement of Robbie Lawler vs. former interim welterweight champ Colby Covington headlining UFC Newark on Aug. 3, there’s a possibility that the winner of Askren vs. Masvidal could be first in line for UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman — who Askren has had issues with — when he is available to return from injury this fall.

Askren made his UFC debut at UFC 235, defeating Lawler via a controversial first-round submission. While it appeared to most, including referee Herb Dean, that Lawler had been choked unconscious by Askren, Lawler quickly popped up and protested upon the stoppage.

The UFC originally wished for Askren to run the fight with Lawler back, but at the post-fight press conference of the March event, he claimed a desire to face the winner of a UFC welterweight main event bout held two weeks later in London — Darren Till vs. Masvidal.

At UFC London, Masvidal pulled off a shocker by dropping and knocking out the former welterweight title challenger with a right hand. Not long after, however, Masvidal got into a backstage confrontation with Leon Edwards, busting up Edwards’ face in what he would go on to call giving him a “three-piece with a soda.”

“I hope he stays away from me so that we can both get a paycheck on Saturday night,” Askren said. “I hope he’s not such a [expletive] that he would ruin that for both of us. But I’m sure the UFC would handle proper precautions to make sure he’s not a moron and that we both can fight and get paid on Saturday night.”

Original Story: MMAJunkie

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