Kamaru Usman competed in the co-main event of UFC 235, defeating Tyron Woodley to win the UFC Welterweight Title.
Ben Askren competed on the same card as the newly crowned champion, but believes he’d get booed out of the building for a performance similar to Usman’s.
“Man, if I would’ve fought like that, the arena would’ve booed me out of the place,” Askren said at the UFC 235 post-fight press conference (via Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting). “I mean, how many times did they get broken up because of a lack of action? And obviously on Tyron’s end, as a competitor, Tyron needs to let his hands go and get it going. But as far as Marty’s concerned, he was just pushing him into the cage, pushing him into the cage. When he was on top, he wasn’t really doing much — and that’s something I’ve gotten criticized excessively for in my career and I’ve never held anyone against the cage for a while. So yeah, I didn’t really like that. Obviously I understand there’s some bias involved.”
Askren won his bout against former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler by first round submission, while Usman would pull out a decision win.
The fighter was also disappointed in the UFC that night for not allowing him to corner Woodley against Usman.
“I was really disappointed with the UFC staff,” Askren said. “I thought I had it cleared on Tuesday that as soon as I got done with my fight, that I would go out to the cage [to corner Woodley]. They said no problem. And then I tried going out there and they stopped me. They wouldn’t even let me go in the arena, and I was really disappointed by that. I mean, if you don’t want to let me in the corner, fine, but find an effing seat for me somewhere a couple rows back where I can watch one of my best friends perform. I was really disappointed by that fact because I thought the issue was handled ahead of time and I didn’t foresee that becoming an issue, so I rushed back, I skipped stitches so I could go out there with them, and then they stopped me. And I really didn’t like that. I understand there’s rules and stuff here, but I thought I did my due diligence in taking care of that.”