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04th Feb 2019

Footage surfaces of Kamaru Usman confronting Ben Askren at UFC 235 presser

Security quickly intervened

Darragh Murphy

Ben Askren is ruffling plenty of feathers in the UFC.

Askren is adamant that he is the best welterweight on the planet and he is determined to prove it now that he has signed for the world’s preeminent mixed martial arts organisation.

‘Funky’ is being thrown in at the deep end as he is set to fight former 170lbs champ Robbie Lawler on the stacked UFC 235 card next month and while there is plenty of respect on display from Askren to Lawler, the same can’t be said for the rest of the welterweight division.

Askren has taken aim at the likes of Darren Till and Colby Covington in recent months and Kamaru Usman has also had to tolerate plenty of trash talk from the former ONE welterweight champion.

At a press conference to promote UFC 235 last week, Usman came face to face with Askren for the first time since they trained together as amateur wrestlers and security had to intervene to prevent a backstage altercation.

Before taking to the stage, Usman confronted Askren right in front of UFC president Dana White and asked “do you know me?” after Askren referred to him as “Marty.”

When they took their seats for the press conference, Askren explained his history with Usman after revealing how “Marty tried attacking me 20 minutes ago.”

“I knew this dude, we trained together at the Olympic training center. He was ‘Marty’ then,” Askren said. “I didn’t even come at him when I got to the UFC because I liked him. I thought he was a good dude. Listen, the opportunity came up at UFC 233, Tyron was hurt … Colby and Marty were supposed to fight each other. Colby got scared, he’s a little bitch — pardon my language — so I said listen, this is an opportunity. I’m here to fight the best guys. He’s a pretty damn good fighter. So I said let’s get in there for the title.”

Askren has no intention of fighting current welterweight champion and long-time teammate Tyron Woodley but has repeatedly asked for the foundation of a new 165lbs weight class, where he and lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov could face off.