UFC: Ben Askren Hits Out At Colby Covington And Kamaru Usman

Ben Askren burst onto the UFC scene at the end of 2018, after trading places with Demetrious Johnson, who in turn moved to ONE Championship. And although his last two fights inside the Octagon didn’t go the way he would have hoped, the 35 year old was a constant source of entertainment outside the cage.

After losing to Demian Maia at UFC Singapore last October, Askren decided to hang up his gloves. During his stint in the UFC, ‘Funky’ consistently threw shade in the direction of his fellow welterweights. And although he may be retired from competing now, it hasn’t stopped the former ONE Championship and Bellator champion from hitting out at his former rivals.

Speaking on to Submission Radio, Askren once again took aim at Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, saying that neither on them know how to promote themselves.

“Colby’s too stupid to understand how to play his cards. He’s an average promoter. He’s someone who puts a lot of effort into it but is not really, really good at it. So there’s someone like a Jorge Masvidal or a Nate Diaz. These are great examples of guys who do not put a lot of effort into promotion but yet they still come out kind of looking good sometimes.

“And then Colby puts a lot of effort into it but he just doesn’t have…he’s not sharp enough to like say the right things at all the right times. And then number two, he’s also not smart enough to understand the leverage he has or doesn’t have with the UFC.”

But while criticising Covington’s ability to promote himself, Askren was full of praise for Conor McGregor.

“Jorge Masvidal, I think he’s kind of a dumb, dumb, but that’s kind of besides the point. But sometimes you accidentally fall into saying something, like the ‘three piece and a soda’ he said with Leon Edwards, right? Like, that just went over, people loved it. But one of the key things, I think Conor’s one of the best at this, is reading a crowd and knowing what you have to say next.

“If you think about the time, it’s a post-fight speech and he says, you know, he’s kind of like talking and talking and he says, ‘I would like to apologise to…’ And you think about, OK, who’s he gonna apologise to? And he says, ‘absolutely effing no one.’ Like, God, he nailed that one. I’m not even really a Conor fan but he freakin’ nailed it. And so it’s like, sometimes you have to feel the energy and the emotion in the room and kind of play to it and that’s where Colby really misses in my opinion.”

UFC 245 Covington vs Usman
Image courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

Last November at UFC 245, Usman defended his UFC welterweight title against Covington. Going into the fight, the pair had been going back and forth in interviews and on social media. With this bad blood and Colby portraying the ‘bad guy’, Askren feels that Kamaru should have taken advantage of the situation.

“I think Usman is like the worst promoter in the history of mixed martial arts. Because for me, Colby is literally the most hated promoter, personality, fighter in the UFC, right? And so when Usman is going against him, it’s like OK, you’ve got the bad guy Colby, and then you’ve got Usman, who all he has to do is he’s got to play the good guy and everyone’s gonna love him and everyone’s gonna cheer for him, right?

“But Usman just could not figure out how to make people like him. Like, he just could not figure it out. It would be so easy to make Colby the bad guy, he’s already the bad guy. He already plays the bad guy. It’s so simple, just play into that and you’re the good guy, you’re the face, everyone loves you. But Usman couldn’t figure out how to do it.”

Do you agree with Ben Askren’s comments on Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman?


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