After plenty of tough talk between Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren, it didn’t take long for them to set up a face-to-face meeting inside the cage.
MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi confirmed with sources that Masvidal and Askren have verbally agreed to a welterweight fight at UFC 239 on July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, following an initial report by ESPN.
Askren was apparently open to fighting Masvidal on June 8, June 29, or July 6.
The two fighters were publicly sniping at each other earlier this week, with Askren claiming that Masvidal was “scared” to sign on the dotted line for a proposed matchup, and Masvidal claiming that it was Askren who showed fear when the two ran into each other in London. Askren, a former ONE Championship and Bellator champion, has become a lightning rod for controversy with his frequent callouts and a technical submission win over Robbie Lawler in his UFC debut on March 2 that was disputed by both Lawler and UFC president Dana White.
Outside of a no contest against Luis Santos back in April 2015, Askren sports a spotless 19-0 professional record.
Masvidal (33-13) reintroduced himself as a contender at 170 pounds at UFC London two weeks ago, drilling Darren Till with a knockout combination in the second round of the main event and then later making more headlines when he had a backstage altercation with Leon Edwards. “Gamebred” has won four of his last six fights.
UFC 239 will be headlined by a pair of title bouts as light heavyweight champion Jon Jones fights Thiago Santos in the main event, while the co-headliner sees Amanda Nunes defending her bantamweight title against former champion Holly Holm.
UPDATE: It looks like the verbal war is just beginning as Askren already had something to say about the matchup on Twitter.
I’m glad Jorge found his courage.
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) March 29, 2019