UFC President Dana White has addressed the possibility of signing former ONE champion Ben Askren.
It wasn’t that long ago that 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.
Just several months ago, Askren was mentioning a fight against former UFC middleweight and welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre under the UFC banner but that fight never took place. Now, this leads us to White talking about his recent conversation with Askren about potentially making a deal that would see him fight in the promotion.
“Ben Askren is under contract,” White said to the ‘UFC Unfiltered’ podcast Tuesday Morning (transcript courtesy of MMANews). “Ben Askren hit me up a few months ago and said, ‘What are the odds we can talk about me getting into the UFC? And I said, ‘We can absolutely talk about it.’ And I said, ‘You need to send me a letter before I even talk to you, or meet with you, or do anything. I need a letter saying that you’re a free agent and that you’re able to…whatever. And he’s not a free agent. He’s not a free agent. He’s under contract with ONE FC, and he’s gonna have to go fulfill his contract with them.”
Askren made it known that he wanted to retire at the right time so he can avoid long-term injuries and damage are suffered as he already feels out of his physical prime. Thus, that was a perfect time to step away but he also knew that fighting has taken a lot of time to coach other fighters and people and to spend time with his family away from Askren but with a potential UFC contract on the line, he might just change his mind.
Update: In this original story, it was inaccurately stated that Askren stated in a previous interview that he would be willing to come out of retirement to fight Tyron Woodley, which is not the case due to them being teammates and was an error on my part. That portion of the story has since been removed and I apologize for that confusion.