There’s a lot of talk about Ben Askren’s next UFC fight. But if Dana White has anything to say about it (and he does), it’ll be Askren vs. Robbie Lawler for the second time.
Rising personality Askren made his Octagon debut at March 2’s UFC 235. There, he submitted former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in a controversial ending, but not without a ton of danger. ‘Ruthless’ slammed Askren right on his head early in the fight, battering with a barrage of ground strikes. “Funky” fought through the adversity to submit Lawler when it appeared he passed out, only to see he was not.
It was an action-packed, hotly-contested bout that certainly deserved to be run back. But Askren was about the only one to shoot it down, claiming he had other plans. “”Funky” flew to London last week to play to the British fans and call out the winner of the Jorge Masvidal vs. Darren Till
When ‘Gamebred’ knocked ‘The Gorilla’ out cold, ‘Funky’s’ next fight became much more clouded. Masvidal called for a title shot against Kamaru Usman. But the more likely bout is his future grudge match with Leon Edwards after ‘Gamebred’ hit ‘Rocky’ with his infamous catchphrase ‘three-piece and a soda’ backstage. So Askren called out the entire welterweight top 10 outside of his good friend Tyron Woodley.
It seems Askren won’t be getting most of those fights for now. You might attribute that to his years-long spat with Dana White. In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports (via MMA Mania), White said that’s not the case. He’s even glad Askren is in the UFC:
“Askren has been fun. This guy’s smart, he’s funny, he likes to mix it up with everybody in a fun way, too. So it’s been good. I’m glad he’s here. Timing is everything in life and this was the perfect time for Ben Askren to be in the UFC.”
That’s not enough to get him out of the Lawler rematch.
White said the UFC is aiming to book the desired bout. He had several reasons to do so:
“I’m trying to make the [Robbie] Lawler rematch,” White said. “First of all, that fight was awesome, it was fun, it was controversial but it’s the fight to make right now. It’s terrible when that [controversy] happens. That’s the fight we want to make.”
Many, if not most, fans will agree with White on this one. ‘Funky’ has almost countless big fights ahead of him, and he debuted at No. 6 on the rankings he hates. But he should put the controversy of the Lawler bout behind him before moving on.
The but has not been announced, yet don’t be surprised when it is. Who are you picking to win the rematch?