It’s no secret that UFC President Dana White and ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren don’t really like each other. Bellator’s undefeated 170-champion when the promotion released him, White shunned the idea of signing the smothering wrestler Askren, who won two consecutive national championships at the University of Missouri.
Askren countered with some outspoken trash talk of his own, making it seem the possibility of him signing with the UFC was slim to none.
But after Askren recently picked up the ONE FC gold by stopping Nobutatsu Suzuki via TKO in the first round, White is apparently changing his tune. At his UFC 177 post-fight scrum last night, White seemed open to the possibility of Askren making his way to fight in the Octagon (quote via MMA Mania):
“I think if he keeps winning, he could get a shot over here. Ben Askren said a lot of stupid shit when he left, but I don’t care about stuff like that. We’ll see how the kid fights, what he keeps doing, and we’ll go from there.”
Askren caught wind of White’s word rather quickly, taking to Twitter to voice a rather sarcastic reply to the executive:
Oh thank you master @danawhite can I please have a shot
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) August 31, 2014
Askren had the reputation as solely a boring, smothering wrestler, but he’s finished his last four opponents to sit at 14-0 for his career. Training with UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis out of Milwaukee’s Roufusport, Askren appears to have taken his game to the next level.
The perfect place to truly test that would be stacked UFC welterweight division, where a bevy of world-class challenges would await “Funky.” Should the UFC waste no time in signing the brash but talented Askren?