Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Dana White Changes Tone on Ben Askren to UFC

One of the names fans and purists of the sport have long clamored to see in the Octagon is Ben Askren. A two-time NCAA champion out of the University of Missouri, Askren has been able to have his way with his opponents with his mat skills, earning him a pristine record of 18-0 with one no contest. As an undefeated fighter in a welterweight division that has remained rich throughout the entire sport, many dream matches have been discussed for Askren, and often by Askren himself, with potential opponents being thrown out such as Georges St. Pierre, Darren Till, and even lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov. There’s just been one problem: Askren and UFC boss Dana White have reportedly not been on speaking terms. According to Dana White, that changed as of a couple of months ago.

Speaking to UFC Unfiltered Tuesday Morning, Dana White provided details of a phone conversation shared between he and Askren regarding a potential UFC run for the former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion:

“Ben Askren is under contract,” White said. “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.”

Ben Askren retired following his TKO victory over Shinya Aoki at ONE 63, but should he return to competition, it would need to be under the ONE banner according to White. So if you were holding out hope of Ben Askren competing in the UFC someday, there seems to a classic case of good news/bad news. The bad news is, it doesn’t look like Ben Askren will be eligible to compete in the UFC anytime soon. The good news is, Ben Askren and Dana White are on speaking terms, and White is now on the record in saying that he is willing to meet and discuss a possible UFC run for Askren in the future. It would seem the next move to be made is by Ben Askren. And for the sake of his prime and the potential dream matches that await, let’s hope he acts swiftly.

If Ben Askren does arrive in the UFC and only had one fight, whom would you most like to see him face?

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