The UFC has been prominent in the sporting world for nearly three decades and has seen a plethora of explosive and rapid knockouts in its time on the main stage. July 6, 2019, UFC fans witnessed one of the most historic and explosive knockouts between Jorge Masvidal and Ben Askren, and it was delivered in an emphatic fashion.
Masvidal cemented his name into the history books performing the fastest knockout in UFC history. Let’s have a look at that mouth-watering knockout and Masvidal’s career being slingshot into the upper echelons of the sport.
Fastest UFC Knockout
UFC journeyman Jorge Masvidal arrived into the contest with a 33-13 record and had a mountain to climb against an undefeated Ben Askren. After weeks of a fiery and bitter build-up, the two welterweights stepped into the Octagon to let their fists do the talking.
Masvidal opted for an explosive flying knee attack over the traditional meat hook approach, running directly at Askren landing the devastating knee as “Funky” ducked his head in the hope of avoiding it. Askren ate the knee and immediately stiffened up before dropping to the canvas. Masvidal threw a few strikes at Askren on the ground, but “Gamebred’s” opponent appeared to be unconscious.
Jorge Masvidal scored the fastest knockout in UFC history, dispatching Ben Askren just five seconds into their welterweight bout at UFC 239 at the T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas.
Masvidal Becomes UFC Sensation Overnight
Masvidal had a relatively small UFC cult-following pre- Ben Askren fight, due to his brash and outlandish behaviour on the MMA stage, coupled with his eruptive fight style. With his short and impressive performance against Askren, the Florida native became the talk of the UFC.
Masvidal’s popularity skyrocketed and multiple media outlets would go on to name his performance the Knockout of the Year. The turnaround was magnificent for Masvidal, who just a year earlier had an almost two-year hiatus from the sport.
Masvidal’s victory over Askren, which was his second consecutive win including a second-round TKO defeat of Darren Till in March 2019, was the tipping point of his career. The next opponent Masvidal had to go through was a seasoned and dangerous Nate Diaz, and that’s precisely what he did.
“Gamebred’s” confidence going into the Diaz fight was understandably at an all-time high, and the hard-hitting striker clearly demonstrated it going into the bout as the clear favorite in the MMA betting odds. Masvidal piled the pressure on throughout landing some truly tantalising strikes while Diaz took the punishment.
Masvidal secured victory in controversial fashion, earning a TKO in the fourth round by doctor stoppage. Diaz, fuming by the decision, was consoled by opponent Masvidal but seemed baffled by the referee and doctor’s decision to discontinue the fight due to a gash above his right eye.
Gamebred’s Shot at Glory UFC 251 on Fight Island was Jorge Masvidal’s chance to showcase his talent on the big stage after taking the fight on extremely short notice. It was initially expected that Masvidal would challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight Championship the summer before, but the UFC and Masvidal found themselves bumping heads due to disagreements over the purse.
The UFC opted to move in a different direction with the surging Gilbert Burns as Usman’s opponent at UFC 251. Unfortunately, Burns tested positive for COVID-19 just before the fighters were due to depart for the much-anticipated Fight Island and Jorge Masvidal stepped in.
Masvidal came up short in his first title challenge against a resilient and battle-hardened Kamaru Usman. “Gamebred” had the herculean task of dethroning Usman, but this assignment seemed too much for the American as Usman slowly broke down and thwarted Masvidal’s plans for glory.
Usman dictated how the fight would unfold and controlled the contest conservatively to ensure no danger of a Masvidal upset. Although Usman exercised his supremacy throughout the five-round fight, Masvidal provided glimpses on how dangerous he could be when they stood trading strikes on the canvass.
Even though the challenger failed in his title attempt, the Miami striking artist looked to have enjoyed himself on the big stage. For every fist that welterweight champion Usman burrowed into his challenger’s torso, for every takedown that hammered into Masvidal’s jaw, for every cynical foot stamp, ‘Gamebred’s” face lit up. Jorge Masvidal was proving that he was where he belonged.
Gamebred’s Next Challenge
Masvidal rolled the dice by accepting UFC 251 with six days to prepare and Usman demonstrated why he still retains the welterweight strap. Masvidal’s popularity only increased with the loss, considering he had an uphill battle from the start.
Dejected with his performance, Masvidal was rather deterred speaking about future opponents. The 35-year-old made it clear that whoever gets him closer to a title shot, he would fight.
There is no doubt that the man who considers himself a reincarnated Jesus has some blockbuster fights in the locker, a seismic contest against Conor McGregor or friend-turned-rival Colby Covington. Though Masvidal is considered a journeyman in the sport, the 35-year-old still has plenty left in his gas tank to electrify the fans.