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Mas vs Funky

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Mas vs Funky

Postby philphan » Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:40 pm

UFC 239 preview: Ben Askren vs. Jorge Masvidal
https://www.yahoo.com/sports/ufc-239-pr ... 58347.html

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UFC 239’s welterweight fight between Jorge Masvidal (33-13) and Ben Askren (19-0) has a lot going for it. There are big stakes – the winner very well could be considered the No. 1 title contender.

There’s heat between the two fighters, with Askren taunting Masvidal, and “Gamebred” saying that fans are coming up to him this week in Las Vegas asking him to hurt Askren — and admitting that he is eager to oblige them. Most importantly, there’s a wealth of skill and great parity between the two men.

Masvidal is one of the more well-rounded, experienced and best fighters in the world, pound-for-pound. His professional MMA career spans 16 years, he’s comfortable anywhere in a fight, and is, at once, a top lightweight and welterweight contender. Askren is a grappling juggernaut, and has adapted his Olympic wrestling skills to MMA well over the course of his own impressive international career.

Both fighters have great conditioning, scramble well on the mat, and are capable of wearing down opponents physically and psychologically. Masvidal and Askren are also each quite resilient, when it comes to absorbing damage and effectively continuing to fight.

All that is to say that this fight is not an easy one to predict the outcome of. There are significant differences between the two contenders, however, and that’s the space where we’ll spend the rest of this preview.

Wrestling

Few people in the history of MMA could claim to equal Askren’s wrestling skills. Once the former U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team member makes any type of contact with an opponent, he is usually able to work himself into position to put him on his back.

Askren is so good at this that he doesn’t seem to care how he gets contact with an opponent, or where that contact initially places him. As a result, Askren often doesn’t bother to set up his takedowns with effective strikes, or even use powerful level changes to make initial contact with his opponents’ legs or hips.


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It is not uncommon to see Askren simply hinge at the waist, face down and reach out widely for his opponents’ legs. Because of this, he often finds himself with his head in between his opponents’ legs, face down, sprawled out on, initially.

From here, however, Askren feels comfortable slowly working himself into better position and usually scores the takedown after chaining together two or three attempts after his first pretty facile and often rebuffed one. Askren’s chain-wrestling ability and grappling conditioning gives him the confidence to put himself in perilous positions after an initial takedown attempt, and then work through several follow-up attempts to eventually get to where he needs.

No matter his initial posture or arm extension, it seems as though Askren is capable of eventually taking anyone in the world down if he can connect his hands together. For this reason, we can expect that he will likely put Masvidal down at some point in their fight.

More on how that may look once they hit the mat later, but for now let’s keep things on the feet. Askren’s lack of takedown set-ups leaves him quite open to standing strikes against elite strikers like Masvidal on his way in.

It is unlikely that Askren can repeatedly close the distance on Masvidal without absorbing some punishment. Once he does make contact after the distance has been bridged, Askren is still vulnerable against strong, elite fighters.

We saw this in his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler, who lifted Askren up and spiked him down on his head as Askren attempted to wrestle him down.

Masvidal may not have the power of Lawler, sufficient to lift and slam Askren from that position, but he certainly has the fast hands, accurate punch placement and footwork to touch Askren on the way in. When Askren does get Masvidal down to the mat, the question will be if he can keep him there, and for how long.

Askren’s ground control and pinning is excellent, and he has developed a unique riding style well-suited for MMA. Against someone as experienced and slippery as Masvidal, however, Askren will also need to be a legitimate submission threat while on top on the ground to have lasting control of the American Top Team fighter.

Pinning pressure alone will likely not be enough to keep Masvidal down for long. Instead, Askren will need to make Masvidal feel uneasy attempting to move and escape for fear of getting caught in a choke.

Demian Maia did this with Masvidal, controlling the Floridian’s back for long stretches in their fight largely on the strength of him effectively threatening with his choking ability. If Masvidal does not feel the risk of being submitted while his back is taken or being pinned on his own back in a similar way, he’ll likely feel much more free attempting to escape aggressively, and be successful in doing so.

Masvidal has said that he doesn’t feel that Askren poses a a particular submission threat to him, and I would be inclined to agree, at least in comparison to someone like Maia. Askren’s ability to latch onto the head at weird angles and moments and then apply his strong squeeze, cannot be overlooked, however.

Lawler was indeed trapped inside of Askren’s bulldog choke and went limp before his arm falling appeared to relieve pressure on his neck and the arteries within it and he woke up. With that being said, Askren very well could find Masvidal very difficult to finish and hold in place on the mat.

Stand-up striking

Askren is an elite athlete and a strong human being. So, his punches don’t tickle.

Still, there would appear to be a large gap between he and Masvidal on the feet with their respective striking when it comes to both power and fluidity. Masvidal hits angles with his head and foot movement well, sets traps expertly, gauges distance well, and puts together striking combinations smoothly.

Askren has never done any of those things particularly well on the feet. Unless Masvidal becomes suddenly cautious because of Askren’s takedown threats, he’ll likely be much more effective on the feet, using his footwork and feints to make Askren’s own entries harder to time, and landing strikes that can chip away at Askren’s stellar conditioning.

Conditioning

A large part of either man’s ability to be successful in this three-round fight very well could end up coming down to who competes best once they’re tired and have absorbed some punishment. Masvidal has said he plans to make Askren pay with strikes every time the wrestler attempts to close the distance, get back up to his feet when he’s put down, and then immediately continue firing at Askren.

That’s a good strategy, and Masvidal has the skills to do it, he’ll just also need some incredible recovery time to pull it off. Masvidal’s conditioning has never been a problem, but this might be a unique challenge for him.

I’d also add that Masvidal has the wrestling ability to make Askren work very hard for any takedown he does earn, even strikes not withstanding. To that end, Askren’s own excellent conditioning could very well end up being tested to a new degree.

Can Askren stay focused with his simple takedown entries after eating strikes to the head and body, and then effectively threaten to control on the ground after that, then do it all over again if and when Masvidal returns to his feet and is able to continue putting striking pressure on?

The reason this fight is so difficult to predict is because neither man has ever given us a reason to suspect they won’t be able to fight at this type of pace. I’m betting they’ll either go the distance, both having had their moments, each man exhausted, and give the judges a tough fight to score, or Askren will catch Masvidal in a surprising choke, or Masvidal will chip away with strikes while frustrating Askren and eventually hurting the Olympian too badly for him to recover.
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Re: Mas vs Funky

Postby DeceptaCon » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:09 pm

I have a sinking feeling that Dana is trying sacrifice Askren like he did Woodley. Lawler took his soul but Herb Dean gave it back, now Masvidal is going to starch him. I like Askren but he came out the gate tweeting 2 hard for my liking in the UFC and Dana doesn't ever let water go under the bridge, he needs his sacrifices for his new investors. Dana def has his voodoo doll ready.
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Re: Mas vs Funky

Postby KARHU-III » Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:03 pm



According to this doc Bens brain got knocked back to newly born state :holy sh*t:
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Re: Mas vs Funky

Postby philphan » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:08 am

DeceptaCon wrote:I have a sinking feeling that Dana is trying sacrifice Askren like he did Woodley. Lawler took his soul but Herb Dean gave it back, now Masvidal is going to starch him. I like Askren but he came out the gate tweeting 2 hard for my liking in the UFC and Dana doesn't ever let water go under the bridge, he needs his sacrifices for his new investors. Dana def has his voodoo doll ready.
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:star: :star: Good call.
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Re: Mas vs Funky

Postby PBells » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:49 am

DeceptaCon wrote:I have a sinking feeling that Dana is trying sacrifice Askren like he did Woodley. Lawler took his soul but Herb Dean gave it back, now Masvidal is going to starch him. I like Askren but he came out the gate tweeting 2 hard for my liking in the UFC and Dana doesn't ever let water go under the bridge, he needs his sacrifices for his new investors. Dana def has his voodoo doll ready.
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How am I just now seeing this post? :lol:

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Re: Mas vs Funky

Postby TFlock » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:58 am

PBells wrote:
DeceptaCon wrote:I have a sinking feeling that Dana is trying sacrifice Askren like he did Woodley. Lawler took his soul but Herb Dean gave it back, now Masvidal is going to starch him. I like Askren but he came out the gate tweeting 2 hard for my liking in the UFC and Dana doesn't ever let water go under the bridge, he needs his sacrifices for his new investors. Dana def has his voodoo doll ready.
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How am I just now seeing this post? :lol:

Accolade-worthy, IMO

:lol: having big enough balls to pick Masvidal won him the survivor belt :gold:
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