Ben Askren has a reason as to why the fight between Jorge Masvidal and Gilbert Burns took so long to make.
After Masvidal lost to Colby Covington at UFC 272, many were uncertain about what would be next for him. Now, over a year later he is set to return to the Octagon in the co-main event at UFC 287 against Burns, and Askren who fought Masvidal, he believes why the fight took so long to get booked because ‘Gamebred’ kept turning the Brazilian down.
Ben Askren on Why It Has Taken So Long
“No,” Askren answered Daniel Cormier on Masvidal beating Burns (h/t MMAJunkie). “That’s why he’s been saying no to Burns, because he doesn’t think he’s gonna win either. DC, you know how most of these dudes work. If they think, ‘I can beat that dude up,’ they say yes easily. If they think they can’t then they say no. That’s how they work.”
“Burns is what Jorge wants to be. Burns is like, ‘I’ll fight anyone,’ and he actually will. … Burns has kind of fought everyone. He seems like the guy that’ll say yes no matter what. He wants to fight Colby (Covington), he fought (Khamzat) Chimaev, he’s fought (Kamaru) Usman. He’s kind of fought all the best guys in the division.”
Although Ben Askren believes Jorge Masvidal will lose to Gilbert Burns, he thinks if ‘Gamebred’ does get his hand raised, it would be massive for him. Askren thinks if Masvidal wins, given how big of a name he is he could leapfrog everyone else and get a title shot.
“Oh yeah. Over Gilbert Burns? That’s for sure,” Ben Askren said of Masvidal getting a title shot with a win. “I mean, Chimaev, (Belal) Muhammad and Colby are kind of wild cards, because we don’t know what’s gonna happen next with them, but Gilbert Burns is top of this division for sure, and if Masvidal can beat him, then yeah, I think he would be fighting for the title next.”