Ben Askren won’t fight UFC champion Tyron Woodley, but he has no problem giving interim champ Colby Covington the business.

The UFC’s newest welterweight is hitting the ground running. Askren has taken verbal shots at darn near every relevant 170-pound fighter on the roster.

He is, however, very clear about one thing.

“Me and Tyron aren’t fighting, it’s simple,” Askren told Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour. “We are not fighting. We are not fighting — no.”

This is not a surprise to most, as Askren and Woodley are teammates and good friends to this day. So if not Woodley, then who?

Well, Askren and a certain someone have been going back and forth at each other on social media since rumbling of the trade began. Now that “Funky” is an official member of the UFC roster he can start cleaning up the division with what he considers the ‘scum’ of welterweight.

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Askren On Covington

“My objection is he’s a moron,” Askren said of Covington. “His lines are written for him, his wrestling sucks. And he’s appealing to the lowest common denominator of MMA fans. The people who are writing his lines are realizing the stupid shit people will react to and then he’s saying it. There’s just a much more eloquent way to say things. And it’s like if you’re so dumb and you’re so desperate that you’ve gotta play the Donald Trump card to get people interested in it — because that does get people interested in 2018. If you look at any news source, everything revolves around what Donald Trump says, right?

“I think he’s playing the lowest common denominator, I think his wrestling sucks. I think his fighting is not very good. And I just generally don’t like the guy. I think he’s a moron.”

If in fact, Covington isn’t the man that gets to welcome Askren to the UFC perhaps his teammate and best friend Jorge Masvidal will get the nod. As it turns out, these two have some history as well.

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 “This is the thing about these idiots,” Askren said. “I trained with Jorge Masvidal when I’ve been training MMA for 2-1/2 months in Coconut Creek, Fla., in like December 2008. I was beating him up then! Luke, I was in MMA for 2-1/2 months and he was no problem for me. Like, give me a break, dude. He’s out here talking on Twitter, like listen, you suck. Compared to me you sucked when I was doing MMA for 2-1/2 months. Imagine what would happen now.”

Regardless of who Askren fights first, he is in the UFC to prove he is as good as he has been telling everyone these last five years. Askren added, he isn’t ducking anyone. He is in the UFC to prove himself.

“We didn’t know [before],” Askren said. “We don’t know if I was as good as I say I am. Nobody knows. We haven’t seen it. Everybody wants a finality, everyone wants closure and we didn’t have closure on this. And now we’re gonna get closure.

“And for me, I didn’t want to protect my record. I don’t give a damn about my record. I want to go and fight the best guys in the world and show people I’m the best. And hey, if something doesn’t go my way — I don’t think that’s gonna happen, I realize that’s a possibility in competition and that’s what happens. But we’re gonna get some finality, we’re gonna get some closure and we’re gonna see what’s going down.”

Let us know what you think. Who should welcome Ben Askren to the UFC? Should it be Covington, Masvidal, or someone else altogether?

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Mike Straus @AKAstraus21 is a credentialed MMA journalist and a member of the MMAJA. He has been a fan of the sport since its inception and has been covering the sport professionally for three years. In the past, he has produced content for Fansided's Cagepages,, and He currently contributes for, he is a staff writer for, and He most recently began writing for