Ben Askren will not fight his longtime training partner and friend Tyron Woodley. Askren now competes in the UFC’s 170-pound division. That division is championed by Woodley, who has reigned as welterweight champ since 2016. Speaking at the UFC 235 press conference yesterday (Thurs. January 31, 2019), Askren doubled down on past comments, stating he won’t fight Woodley inside the Octagon (via MMA Junkie):
“Tyron and I aren’t fighting,” Askren said. “There’s a lot of people I want to fight in the welterweight division, and I haven’t fought any of them. There’s a long list, and I could fight every other month for the next couple years and fight a whole bunch of people I don’t like. There’s no need for Tyron and I to fight each other.
“A whole bunch of people would stab their best friend in the back for $100. They don’t understand what real friendship is like. I don’t covet this man’s possessions. I don’t covet anyone’s possessions.”
Askren will make his UFC debut at UFC 235 on pay-per-view (PPV). The show goes down from the T-Mobile Arena on March 2, 2019. “Funky” will be facing former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler. That’s quite the test for the former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion’s first dance in the UFC. As for Woodley, he will make his fourth welterweight title defense.
“T-Wood” is co-main eventing UFC 235 against Kamaru Usman. The card is headlined by a light heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
What do you think about Askren not wanting to fight Woodley?