There is a saying in MMA. “you are only as good as your last fight”. And the results of UFC 239 make us ask few questions primarily about arguably one of the best welterweights in the world Ben “Funky” Askren and about the Former Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
Starting with the upset of the evening, Jorge “The game bred” Masvidal defeated Ben Askren with a record-breaking 5 seconds Vicious Knockout.Before the fight starts this battle was a classic battle between a veteran striker and a world-class wrestler. Many believed and rightfully so that if Ben Askren gets a hold of Masvidal it would be a long night for the game bred.
And to the contrast, many fancied the seasoned striking of Masvidal, who defeated a world-class striker such as Darren Till in Manchester, against the one-dimensional skills of Funky Askren. Well, this was one of those odd moments when a striker defeated a wrestler. An explosive flying knee was enough for Masvidal to cement his place for the title contention in the stack welterweight division.
Talking about what happens now with the Ben Askren who is not undefeated anymore, How many times we have seen undefeated athletes in MMA losing that aura of invincibility after getting their very first loss. It happened to one of the best heavyweight of all time Fedor, it happened to Jose Aldo just to name a few. And a loss for Ben Askren shouldn’t be a big deal if you take the Legend GSP’s record into consideration.
GSP lost against Matt Serra and still became the best welter weight of all time after avenging his loss against Matt Serra and defeating every other opponent in his reign. But what’s tricky here for The Funky one is, it doesn’t seem like Ben has that many years of fight left in him to get back on a winning track that is as decorated as GSP’s.
Even the path to the championship just got longer for Ben Askren after that brutal KO from Jorge Masvidal. So who does Ben fight next? well, Darren till comes to the picture now. Both of them are on the same path for the championship after losing to Jorge Masvidal. And it would make sense that these two square up in the octagon since they already have a history between them.
Fortunately Ben has not suffered any serious injury in his fight against masvidal as he confirmed on his interview with Ariel Helwani and Darren Till is looking for a comeback. So we might expect these two killers to fight probably at the end of this year.
Now coming to the much anticipated come back of Luke Rockhold after a yearlong layoff because of injuries and surgeries, the outcome of the match did not go in the favor of the former UFC champion. MMA fans all around the world were anticipating how would Luke Rockhold perform in Light Heavyweight division when cutting weight is not something Luke needs to worry about.
Well moving up a division has both advantages and disadvantages. It does make you stronger since you don’t have to cut drastic weight anymore but at the same time it can affect your cardio as seen in the case of Kevin Lee in his fight against RDA and it can also bring huge difference of power between opponents as witnessed in the fight between Max Hollaway and Dustin Proier. But all these things had little to do with the demise of Luke Rockhold in his match against the Polish fighter Jan Blachowicz.
No doubt Luke is a well-round fighter who can trade punches and kicks with the best strikers and can give trouble to the very best grapplers on the ground. But from the beginning, Luke Rockhold got in to clinch with Blachowicz and tried to take him down instead of using his far superior striking abilities.
He did seem to ooze with confidence, which some might say overconfidence and probably that made him the victim of a vicious KO again, just as in his fight against the Count Bisping.Apparently Luke has a broken jaw courtesy of that vicious knock out. So what next for Luke Rockhold. After his defeat in his lightweight debut, where does he go now? Does he stay at Light heavyweight and go back to the drawing board to work on his gameplans? Or Does he go back to middleweight to regain his throne? Only time shall tell.