Former ONE Champion Ben Askren is targeting a potential big fight against former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.
Askren called it a career after his fight against longtime mixed martial artist Shinya Aoki, who is best known for his lightweight run and has even competed at featherweight, back in November.
Around the time of his retirement, Askren went on record by stating that the only other fight that would bring him out of retirement would be against current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, whom Askren trains with at Roufusport in Milwaukee.
Askren made it known that wanted to retire at the right time. The reason for that is so he can avoid long-term injuries and damage are suffered.
Askren already feels out of his physical prime. Thus, now is a perfect time to step away.
The second reason for his decision to retire is that fighting has taken a lot of time to coach other fighters and people and to spend time with his family away from Askren.
However, that has all changed as he has his sights set on a fight with GSP.
“My main motivation is to prove I’m No. 1 in the world,” Askren recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “I think it will happen, at the Bell Centre (in Montreal). Me vs. ‘GSP,’ probably somewhere in late 2019. … I don’t need to make any more money from fighting, and there’s only one thing left to prove. I’ve been No. 1 for the past five years, and I’ve unfortunately never had the chance to prove that fight. It’s the one thing that interests me.”
Keep in mind that Askren has never fought under the UFC banner due to his hostile relationship with company president Dana White.
It should be noted that the odds of this fight actually happening are slim as the promotion would have to sign him and GSP would need to be medically cleared as well as want to take this fight for it all to come together.
“(My first UFC negotiation) was so dirty, it left such a bad taste in my mouth,” Askren said. “I already didn’t want to talk to Dana. I don’t trust a damn word that comes out of his mouth.
I don’t trust a word. It’s like, why did I never pursue that again? Well, it’s because the first time I got screwed over – it was just about as dirty a deal as anyone could give you. I don’t want to have that discussion again. I don’t trust them one bit.”
“I’m 33, and I’ve taken very good care of my body,” Askren said. “I’ve never taken PEDs, so there’s no ill affects from that. I’ve never had a very major injury since college, and that was my neck, and it’s been over a decade, so I’m fine there.
I’m very healthy. I’m planning on staying in good shape – not fighting shape. But I don’t see myself as being one of those guys that’s going to age very quickly.”