But he doesn’t mean the game inside the cage, since welterweight champion Usman has yet to lose in the UFC. He’s talking about fight promotion.
Usman is coming off a fifth-round TKO win over rival Colby Covington at UFC 245, where after 24 minutes of battle, Usman was able to finish Covington with less than a minute remaining.
In the lead-up to the fight, there was plenty of trash talk between Usman and the always controversial Covington. Some of it nearly led to a scuffle at the buffet at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
Speaking to Submission Radio, Askren said Usman had a chance to play hero in his matchup against Covington, but botched it.
“I think Usman is like the worst promoter in the history of mixed martial arts,” Askren said. “Because for me, here’s the thing: Colby is literally the most hated promoter, personality, fighter in the UFC, right? And so when Usman is going against him, it’s like OK, you’ve got the bad guy Colby, and then you’ve got Usman – who, all he has to do is he’s got to play the good guy and everyone’s gonna love him and everyone’s gonna cheer for him, right?
“But Usman just could not figure out how to make people like him. Like, he just could not figure it out. It would be so easy to make Colby the bad guy – he’s already the bad guy. He already plays the bad guy. It’s so simple. Just play into that and you’re the good guy – you’re the face, everyone loves you. But Usman couldn’t figure out how to do it.”
Although Askren wasn’t able to make the impact he was hoping for inside the octagon, he certainly did outside and quickly became one of the most popular fighters on the roster with his honest and witty banter.
He was on the cusp of getting a title shot when he faced Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239, but a five-second nightmare knockout loss put a halt to Askren’s aspirations to face Usman.
“Yeah, I blew it, right? I blew it,” Askren said. “If I won the Masvidal fight, I’ve got that. I blew it. You guys trying to rub it in?
“I blew it. I blew it. I apologize to everybody.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/03/ben-askren-calls-kamaru-usman-worst-promoter-in-mma-history-ufc/