Ben Askren: It's obvious I’ve passed Colby Covington for the title shot

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

About a week ago, “Funky” Ben Askren stated that he believed a good performance vs. Jorge Masvidal at this weekend’s UFC 239 would possibly land him a title shot. This was said with the former interim title holder, Colby Covington, sitting in the wings, still waiting for his shot at the undisputed belt.

Flash forward a few days and the UFC announced that Covington will have a main event slot on August 3rd against Robbie Lawler in Newark. Askren told FloCombat that this fight announcement, or any inkling of it, had nothing to do with his original claims.

“I did not know that they were going to announce this fight,” Askren said. “I was just getting a feeling as though people were forgetting about Colby and that I was going to jump him in line.”

But while people may have been reminded that Covington exists with the fight booking, the timing seems to suggest that he is not next for the title. Askren, of course, agrees that this call makes it all the more obvious that he has passed the top contender.

“I think this is obvious now,” Askren said confidently. “Now I think I [get] a dominant win over Jorge Masvidal [this weekend] and I cut a promo with Marty [Kamaru Usman] and they say ‘hey you’re up.'”

Whether it has to do with the fans forgetting Covington, his own popularity, or something that Usman and his management wanted - it’s not really important to Askren.

“I’m not sure [what it was] - it’s possible [it was Usman],” he said. “Either way I win - I don’t care.”

Of course, all of this is contingent upon a victory this weekend on the PPV main card of UFC 239.

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Author Daniel Vreeland is a co-founder of the Top Turtle Podcast, and a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu at New England Submission Fighting in Amherst, Massachusetts.