Masvidal planned record-setting UFC 239 knockout of Askren


Jorge Masvidal celebrates his knockout victory over Ben Askren during their welterweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 239 in Las Vegas. (Eric Jamison/AP)

“Gamebred” had the perfect game plan.

Jorge Masvidal may have surprised most onlookers when he knocked out Ben Askren with a flying knee at UFC 239 over the weekend, but his corner knew exactly what was coming.

It was perhaps the most shocking blink-of-an-eye KO between two high-profile fighters since Conor McGregor turned Jose Aldo’s lights off in 13 seconds back at the MMA landscape-altering UFC 194 event in 2015.

McGregor rehearsed the counter-left hand he used to beat Aldo backstage prior to their fight, and Masvidal had been practising the flying knee in the days leading up to UFC 239.

Masvidal’s coach Mike Brown posted a video of the welterweight going over the technique 48 hours before he stepped into the Octagon at T-Mobile Arena.

The 34-year-old, who earned himself a $50,000 post-fight bonus for the performance plus potentially the next title shot at 170 pounds, was asked why he decided to begin the fight with that high-risk move.

“He’s so predictable, man. He’s a scrub,” Masvidal told reporters in Las Vegas. “A part of me wanted to just throw it out there so he knew, if you do shoot [for a takedown] like an idiot, like you only know how to, your head’s going to get clipped, and then I would put the brakes on him and beat him up for 14 minutes and 30 seconds and execute him. Or, you know, he took the bait.

“He walked right into it.”

Practice makes perfect and in this case it also made history.

Masvidal set a UFC record for fastest knockout, as the fight officially lasted five seconds.

The previous record for fastest knockout belonged to Duane Ludwig who stopped Jonathan Goulet in six seconds back in 2006. Chan Sung Jung fell a fraction of a second short of tying Ludwig when “The Korean Zombie” finished Mark Hominick at UFC 140 in 2011.

Todd Duffee holds a seven-second knockout win over the late Tim Hague, while the late Ryan Jimmo’s seven-second KO of Anthony Perosh remains in the top five.

Don Frye, James Irvin, Markwan Amirkhani and Masvidal rival Leon Edwards have each recorded eight-second knockouts.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.