George St. Pierre Has No Problem Fighting Ben “Funky” Askren

George St. Pierre Has No Problem Fighting Ben “Funky” Askren


As MMA fans know, Ben “Funky” Askren would love to climb into the Octagon and take on UFC welterweight champion George St. Pierre.

However, with the way his career currently going, the Bellator MMA 170 pound champion would be lucky to simply get a fight, let alone a UFC title shot against GSP.

Funky has been sitting on the sidelines since July of this year, when he last fought and defended his Bellator welterweight belt, as against Andrey Koreshkov. Askren won the fight by way of TKO in the fourth, and with the win, Ben had fulfilled his contractual obligations to the promotion. As such, he was a free agent and hoping to be signed by the UFC.

Under normal circumstances one would figure that the senior promotion would have jumped all over Askren and would have been happy to have him ply his trade in the UFC’s welterweight division. However, that hasn’t happened. To be precise, it appears that the promotion hasn’t even contacted Askren, let alone made him an offer.

More to the point, of late it appears that the UFC has absolutely no interest in the 12 & 0 fighter and former Olympic wrestler, and that Askren seems to have found himself caught between a rock and a hard place, concerning Bellator, the UFC and any “matching rights” clauses in Funky’s Bellator contract.   

However, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney made it clear two weeks ago, that if the UFC wanted to sign Askren that Bellator would let Ben go, and with no strings attached. The only condition Rebney placed on the deal was that the UFC would have to guarantee Funky an immediate title shot, against GSP.

To that, Dana White accused Rebney of playing games and stated that he wasn’t interested in the subject. He further added that he thought it was “weird” that the promotion would simply let their reigning champion walk out the door.  

Of course, the reality is that Rebney’s offer is meaningless, because White is never going to give Askren a title shot in the UFC without him first having proven himself in the promotion. Subsequent to that fact, Rebney’s offer is a moot point.

However, there is another voice to be heard from in the conversation and that’s of the UFC’s welterweight champion, George St. Pierre.

Today, “Rush” weighed in on the subject and said that he would have “no problem” in fighting Askren. In speaking with the champ put it this way:

“Of course; he’s a good fighter, undefeated, and yes, if he comes, I’ll fight him. No problem. Bring him in; I’ll fight everyone. I am the champion and I have no choice, so it’s no problem. I’m not afraid.”

On this issue, fans should have no doubt that Rush would fight Askren and that he’s not afraid of Funky trying to “lay on top of him” for as long as he pleases. Yes, Ben is a heck of a wrestler and one that seems to be developing some skill with his hands, with his last two wins being by way of TKO, but Funky brings nothing to the table that GSP hasn’t seen before and summarily dismissed.  

And yes, Askren is 12 & 0 and on a roll, but so too is Rush. The champ is on an eleven fight winning streak, with eight consecutive title defenses to his credit. Further still, Rush has faced, fought and defeated the best welterweights in the world. In terms of comparing opponents, Funky would be at a total loss in the effort.

Regardless of any of it though, Rush has chimed in and given the green light to the match with Askren if it can be arranged. However, as none of this is the champ’s decision, all that really matters is Dana White’s opinion and that’s not likely to change; it’s a no.

From a practical point of view, even if White was of the mind to call Rebney’s bluff and give Askren a title shot, there’s no window of opportunity for it. With fighters such as Hendricks, Condit, MacDonald, Lawler, Brown, Lombard and others in the division, there is always a quality opponent coming up to challenge the champ. As such, Askren is hoping for a great deal in expecting any of these great fighters to step aside for him.

In conclusion, Ben Askren is stuck and has but two options. He can return to Bellator, defend his title and make some cash over the next year, or he can wait it out and sit on the sidelines until August of 2014, when the matching clauses in his contract expire. At that point, he’ll be free to sign with the UFC. However, that could be a big gamble. As it stands right now, the UFC is showing no interest in him and that might not change in a year. White has offered him no guarantees.

An honest assessment of the situation would probably conclude that Ben’s best option is the first one; go back to Bellator, defend his title, make some cash, stay relevant and wait out the clock. As it stands, it would seem to be a much better choice than simply sitting around until next year and hoping that things go his way.

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  • Zip

    Ben has that Barnett type edge to him that doesn't mesh well with Dana. Think he would give GSP some problems though.

    • Entity

      yea, I think he's publicly talked smack towards Dana already, I cant remember.

      • Zip

        Yeah, and vice versa.

    • Kris-tyahn

      The guy who went to a decision with Jay Hieron last year or two years ago would give GSP some problems?!? Whatever it is you're smoking, send some my way please, b/c I could make a fortune selling that ****. GTFO of here, ARSwipe wouldn't do **** all to GSP, are you serious dude?!? You must be new to MMA, that's the ONLY explanation for your idiotic comment!

      • Zip

        Well, Kris, I guess you told me, stud. I smoke nothing, nor am I new to MMA. However, to no longer be an idiot, I must agree with you eh, as that is the 'ONLY' way out of this dire predicament. Is that it, Kris? Think I'll remain an idiot for believing that Ben would give GSP some problems on the mat. Does that work for you, Kris?

        Remove your hand from GSP's scrotum, and your lips from his a$$ and it may improve your vision. Or, continue your salacious love affair with GSP supported by MMA math and see where that gets you. Hope this helps, Kris.

        PS: Don't tell anyone because this just between you and me, but I'm a huge GSP fan. Shhhhhh

    • ksooner76

      all great fighters in other places kings of there Org. come to UFC and cant beat
      guys in the top 5 or 6 just is,….. Reem …ect..who has came over and did what they said would do that wasnt WEC which was UFC's minors

    • DeeJaySlyTee

      I think this is irrelevant at this time. GSP has to get past Hendricks first!

      And if the fight did happen.. It would be EASY work for GSP no question about it.

  • Mike Drahota

    Askren doesn't really care about the UFC like most MMA fighters do. He's publicly said he'd retire tomorrow and co coach kids' wrestling without a second thought. We'll see if that's true.

  • apocalypse123

    Georges has no problem fighting Ben Askren but I have a problem sleeping so this actually works out.

  • Mike Drahota

    Yes buddy. Askren GSP would be a tight PPV sell. Better have a siiiiiiiiiiiiickkkkk undercard.

  • Mike Drahota

    Yes buddy. Askren GSP would be a tough PPV sell. Better have a sick undercard.

  • jcren

    The reality is that like just about EVERYBODY who comes to the UFC from another promotion…they look great because they were figthing lesser competion (see Sheilds, Overeem, Gomi). Askren has not fought a fighter who would have been ever considered in the top 20….name a fighter who he has fought who has beaten a top 20 fighter. Name a top 10 fighter in the UFC who would not the exact same record as Askren, except probably with more finishes. Maybe he is great…but quite frankly he is in no way more deserving of a title shot because there are a few fighters on the current roster who are coming off wins over fighters 10x better than anyone Askren has fought. I would love to see Askren vs Sheild or Maia first fight in. Then maybe against an explosive guy like Koscheck or Big Rig who could handle the wrestling but also KTFO