Ben Askren believes that he could turn out to be the next fighter to challenge for the UFC welterweight title.
Askren has already picked up a win over former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in his promotional debut. Now, he’s slated to fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239. If he should get past Masvidal in his next fight then he thinks he has a shot at a title fight.
“Funky” believes that if he should have another strong showing his next fight then he could, in theory, leapfrog former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington as the number one contender in the welterweight division:
“I think it is [possible],” Askren told MMA Fighting. “I don’t think people are too into Colby’s schtick anymore. They realize it’s old, it’s washed up, it’s just not that exciting. The guy is doing one of these things where you sit out and wait for a title fight and that is something I will never, ever do.
“How long ago was Colby’s last fight? Last June? What is this mother—ker going to sit out for 16 months and expect to get a title shot? The only way to stay relevant in this sport is to stay in there and keep getting after it. So yeah, if I go beat up Jorge, I’m going to have a lot more momentum. And if “Marty” (Kamaru Usman) wants to make some money, I’m sure “Marty” has a pay-per-view clause in his contract, you’re damn sure that I’m going to sell a whole bunch more pay-per-views against him than Colby would.”
UFC President Dana White has already agreed that Covington would get the next shot at welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. It should be noted that White and Covington haven’t always seen eye-to-eye.
Usman underwent double hernia surgery following his latest win in March. Now, he’s not expected to return until the latter part of the year. Thus, nothing is guaranteed in the sport of MMA.