UFC 239 was on the shortlist for most people’s event of the year.
The card featured Jan Blachowicz laying waste to former champion Luke Rockhold. The co-main event saw Amanda Nunes defend her bantamweight title with an emphatic head kick KO of another former champion in Holly Holm. Jon Jones went to war against Thiago Santos in the headliner and the fight was the closest we had seen Jones come to losing in years.
Also on the main card was a highly anticipated fight that featured Jorge Masvidal taking on the former Bellator and ONE Champion title-holder, Ben Askren. Askren, known for his high-level, “funky” wrestling style, was being pegged as a future title-challenger by many. A former street fighter, Masvidal was coming off the biggest win in his professional fighting career after starching Darren Till in London just months before.
Askren and Masvidal both had plenty to say about the other heading into the bout, and there was just the right amount of beef between the competitors to intrigue the masses.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 19, 2019
Come fight night, people were torn on who to pick. Analysts had written their breakdowns of Askren’s grappling and Masvidal’s boxing. Fans had debated for months online, as the bell rang and we were moving to the edge of our seats, the fight was over.
Masvidal’s camp had seen Askren’s penchant for not setting up his takedowns and rushing into them at the start of the fight and “Gamebred” capitalized on it. As Askren dropped his head down, Masvidal met it with a jumping knee that separated Askren from consciousness. Masvidal landed a couple of “super necessary” shots on his stiff foe before the referee could intervene.
The fight was over in five seconds and Masvidal had not only scored the fastest KO in UFC history but also secured himself a spot in the highlight reels for years to come.
Congratulations to Jorge Masvidal for having the KO of the Year!