Las Vegas, NV: Ben Askren (blue gloves) is assessed by medical personnel after being knocked out with a knee by Jorge Masvidal (not pictured) at T-Mobile Arena. Jorge Masvidal set a new record for the fastest knockout in UFC history with five seconds. (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

By Matt Dolloff,

Ben Askren didn’t have much to say after losing to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239, his first professional loss in MMA. But considering the way he lost, what can be said, really?

Masvidal scored a historic knockout over Askren on Saturday at UFC 239 in Las Vegas, sending him to the mat after just five seconds with a thunderous knee to the face. Askren immediately dipped his head as he went for a takedown as the match began, and Masvidal obviously saw it coming. The result is the fastest knockout in UFC history and probably an unbeatable record.

Askren had a hilarious reaction on Twitter later on after the fight, which was probably the same reaction as anyone who bet on him or was hoping for a more competitive bout – at least one that lasted more than five seconds.

And as everyone piled on Askren for the shockingly quick defeat, fellow fighter Heather Hardy tried to stick up for him. He didn’t need that, either.

Askren has become known for talking trash to opponents before matches, which like it or not is a big component of selling fights in any kind of combat sport. Some take it more seriously than that, though, like reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov when he punished Conor McGregor for making fun of his religion and family.

Masvidal was similarly upset with Askren’s pest behavior, taking his shenanigans as a sign of disrespect. Which of course made his flying knee and instant KO that much more satisfying for him.

“There’s not too many people I’ve disliked more. I have over 50 pro fights and [Askren’s] one of them,” Masvidal said in a volcanic post-fight press conference. “He talked about my manhood. He talked about my culture, my ethnicity. Where do we draw the line? Why do certain people get to do stuff online? So everything is cool before the fight? Other fighters are talking about people’s religions, wife, even kids? That’s cool? But after a fight I’m not allowed to showboat and rub it in your face so guys think ‘maybe I shouldn’t talk so much [expletive] because when I cross these real mother-[expletive] they’re going to make me pay for it, they’re going to embarrass the [expletive] out of me.’

“It’s not over for Ben. If I see that dude at Whole Foods, I’m going to slap that dude up because I don’t like him.”

Masvidal drew controversy for his mocking post-fight celebrations. But to him it was some well-earned karma for Askren, who has proven to be very good at getting under people’s skin.

Now, Askren is left wondering if he’ll consider retiring again. He originally called it a career at age 33 in the fall of 2017, but returned almost a year and a half later after being traded to UFC from ONE Championship. The Masvidal KO is the kind of hit that should make you think about your long-term health. And Askren was talking about getting a shot at UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman after this. Welp, Masvidal just complicated those plans a bit.

We’ll see where Askren (19-1, 1 NC) goes from here. It would be a tough decision for him to let this KO be the lasting memory of his otherwise excellent MMA career.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at