Ben Askren Blasts Kamaru Usman For Not Being Able To Get Fans
Ben Askren may not be competing in MMA anymore, but he still watches the sport. It would be safe to say that he is not impressed with what he has been seeing from his former rival Kamaru Usman.
Before he went on a two fight losing streak, Askren was one of the biggest rivals of “Marty from Nebraska,” a.k.a. Kamaru Usman. Ultimately the two would never fight, as Ben would retire. Regardless, he did a great job of painting Usman in a negative light among fans.
Despite the fact that Askren is no longer aiming his sights on Usman, the public opinion of the welterweight champ has not changed much. Even a rivalry with a largely hated figure like Colby Covington did not improve his stock. As he explained in a recent interview, Ben believes this is strictly Kamaru’s fault.
“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? So when Usman is going against him, it’s like OK, you’ve got the bad guy Colby, and then you’ve got Usman. 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.”
Ben Askren certainly brings up a good point. There was a relatively large amount of eyes on Usman after he beat Covington. Nevertheless he was unable to fully capitalize on the opportunity.