UFC 235 is a month away, but that hasn’t stopped Kamaru Usman and Ben Askren from exchanging verbal jabs. The two top welterweights are set to compete on the card, though they will be against different opponents.
Usman is set to fight for the welterweight title against champion Tyron Woodley, while Askren is set to take on former titleholder Robbie Lawler.
Despite that, the two men found themselves with some beef.
Prior to a press conference to promote the event ahead of tickets going on sale, Askren and Usman had a backstage confrontation. Once on stage, Askren shined a light on their little dust-up.
“Marty tried attacking me 20 minutes ago,” Askren said at the UFC 235 press conference. “I knew this dude, we trained together at the Olympic training center. He was ‘Marty’ then. I think he’s confused on what we do. We don’t play basketball or wrestling, we get in the cage and fight each other. So threatening me backstage is what I volunteered for. I volunteered for that.”
Video of their face-to-face confrontation has since surfaced, with UFC president Dana White looking on.
If the two men both come away victorious on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, it’s hard to imagine they will not eventually square off.
UFC 235: Fight Time & Viewing Details
Event: UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith
Date: Saturday, March 2, 2019
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Venue: T-Mobile Arena
Pay-Per-View Card Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
Broadcast: UFC Fight Pass, FOX Sports 1, Pay-per-view
UFC 235 Fight Card
|Light Heavyweight||Jon Jones (c)||vs.||Anthony Smith|
|Welterweight||Tyron Woodley (c)||vs.||Kamaru Usman|
|Welterweight||Robbie Lawler||vs.||Ben Askren|
|Bantamweight||Cody Garbrandt||vs.||Pedro Munhoz|
|Preliminary Card (ESPN)|
|Featherweight||Jeremy Stephens||vs.||Zabit Magomedsharipov|
|Light Heavyweight||Ovince Saint Preux||vs.||Misha Cirkunov|
|Bantamweight||Alejandro Pérez||vs.||Yadong Song|
|Women’s Strawweight||Tecia Torres||vs.||Weili Zhang|
|Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)|
|Welterweight||Diego Sanchez||vs.||Mickey Gall|
|Middleweight||Edmen Shahbazyan||vs.||Charles Byrd|
|Women’s Bantamweight||Gina Mazany||vs.||Macy Chiasson|