LAS VEGAS — It was a highlight filled UFC PPV event, but nobody shone more than Jorge Masvidal.
Masvidal obtained the fastest knockout in UFC history when he hit undefeated welterweight (19-1) “Funky” Ben Askren with a flying knee in five seconds Saturday, at UFC 239 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
— CATCHWEIGHT™️ (@catchweightpod) July 7, 2019
It earned the 34-year-old a $50,000 performance of the night bonus.
The previous mark of six seconds was held by Duane Ludwig when he knocked out Canadian Jonathan Goulet at UFC Fight Night 3 in 2006.
A native of Miami, Florida, “Gamebred” revealed why he choose the flying knee to open the bout.
“He’s [Askren] so predictable, I knew he was going to attempt a takedown,” said Masvidal, to reporters during his UFC 239 post fight press conference.
“I put my hands behind my back — he probably thought we were going to play patty cake but he walked right into it.”
After nearly two years outside of the octagon, Masvidal (34-13) who was ranked fourth in the welterweight division going into to the bout, was coming off another brutal knockout win over former contender Darren Till.
But unlike in his previous matchup, there was bad blood between the two combatants in the entire buildup, especially fight week.
Masvidal was not shy about that and did not hesitate to gloat afterwards, including in his post-fight celebration.
“There are not too many people I dislike, but he’s certainly one of them,” said the former professional boxer.
“He talked about my manhood, my culture and ethnicity, where do we draw the line because other fighters are doing the same thing as well.
“That’s why I showboated and rubbed it in his face because guys like him —others as well will now think ‘Maybe I don’t talk so much smack, cause when I come across one of these real guys they’ll embarrass me.’”
As to whether or not the animosity between the two is over, not a chance according to Masvidal.
“It’s not over for Ben, if I see him at Whole Foods I’m still going to slap him up.”
With the rivalry far from over, the attention turned to the welterweight title picture.
UFC President Dana White refused to confirm who would be next for the current champion Kamaru Usman, but offered an honest assessment of Masvidal’s career.
“When I first saw him fight he was so talented but it seemed like his head wasn’t really into it,” said White, during his media availability following the event. “It wasn’t until recently he started getting serious about fighting and now that he has—you’re seeing the results, he just did that on his own.”
The UFC boss also sees superstar potential through not only Masvidal’s fighting style but his personality outside the cage.
“He’s just unique, he’s a fighter in every sense of the word and if he wasn’t fighting here he’d be doing it somewhere else, illegally.”
After his win in England against Darren Till back in March, Masvidal did decide to engage in some combat outside the cage not unlike his days as an in internet backyard brawler before making the move to mixed martial arts.
Fellow UFC welterweight contender Leon Edwards approached the American Top Team fighter and was subsequently hit with a couple strikes, suffering a cut in the process.
Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards exchange words and punches backstage during the ESPN+ post-show pic.twitter.com/kYEkWxN8Io
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 16, 2019
Masvidal would coin the altercation as hitting Edwards with the “three piece and a soda.”
Asked to describe his flying knee knockout Saturday night in the same sense, Masvidal decided to give it a Vegas twist.
“He thought it was going to be a three piece but no, he got the whole MGM Grand buffet to the face.”