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Masvidal (34-13 MMA, 11-6 UFC) had just knocked out Askren (19-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in five seconds with a spectacular flying knee, the fastest knockout in UFC history – and he has no regrets about his brutal follow up.
“They were super necessary,” Masvidal told reporters, including MMA Junkie, about the shots that landed before an official stoppage in the pay-per-view bout at T-Mobile Arena.
Masvidal’s position is that an opponent is fair game until the referee intervenes, and critics who say otherwise don’t appreciate the sport.
“The referee hadn’t pulled me off, and my job is to hit somebody until the referee pulls me off,” Masvidal said. “So to those people, I would say maybe don’t watch MMA. Go back to soccer.”
Major athletic commission that regulate MMA back Masvidal’s actions. As long as the bout is taking place and a fighter isn’t striking after a referee waves it off, legal strikes are fair game.
Many athletic commissions do take issue with excessive celebration, which Masvidal arguably engaged in after his highlight-reel knockout. He tapped the mat next to Askren after his finish and then fell stiff to the canvas, obviously mocking his opponent’s physical state.
But for those who take issue with his actions, Masvidal cites other fighters who’ve mocked family, religion and manhood.
“That’s cool, but after a fight, I’m not allowed to showboat and rub it in your face, so you and guys like you can see it and say, ‘Maybe I don’t talk so much (expletive), because when I cross one of these real mother(expletive), they’re going to make me pay for it?’” Masvidal asked. “They’re going to embarrass the (expletive) out of me.”
Masvidal said there’s nothing fake about his feelings about Askren, whom he said crossed a line that couldn’t be uncrossed in the buildup to the fight.
“It’s not over for Ben, either,” he said. “He still has to deal with me. If I see him at Whole Foods, I’m going to still slap that dude up, because I don’t like him.”
In the end, Masvidal said, “I’m glad I got to end that dude.”
The veteran fighter also may have secured a shot at the title after over a decade of working his way up the ranks. With one move, he may have cut the line as the next title challenger.
Then again, the prideful Masvidal won’t be stooping to any level for an opportunity.
“I’m not going to sell my soul, man,” he said. “I know they go around sometimes telling (people), ‘Oh, you’ve got the title shot, or you,’ and then see who gives them the best deal.
“I want to get paid for my services. I think I bring a very real thing to this fighting thing, and that’s just baptizing people. I’m not god, but I’m putting mother(expletive) in another planet when I’m done with them.”
Masvidal said he could fight welterweight champ Kamaru Usman “tomorrow.” He didn’t directly address a potential conflict for the No. 1 contender spot with his longtime teammate, former interim champ Colby Covington. Instead, he pointed to his recent achievement.
“I think my body of work speaks for itself,” Masvidal said. “If you want sheer violence, you know who to call. If you want other (expletive), guys going to press conferences on time, you know who to call.”
News | MMA Junkie