Former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre may have recently dismissed the prospect of fighting former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight king Ben Askren. ‘Funky,’ on the other hand, is not quite as willing to give up on the fight he wants the most
For many mixed martial arts fans, Askren’s absence from competing on the biggest stage in the sport has been regrettable.
Although it had looked nailed-on that the unbeaten wrestling-machine would join the UFC all the way back in 2013, it was not to be for the Wisconsin-native. Citing critical differences with the promotion’s President, Dana White, Askren would instead go on to sign with Asia’s ONE Championship shortly after initial talks with the UFC had broken down.
Despite his history with White, and St-Pierre’s indifference when it comes to the prospect of a bout, Askren still argues that he is more than worthy of a super fight. The 33-year-old appeared on Monday’s episode of the MMAHour with Ariel Helwani to explain why:
“The UFC marketing machine is set up for one thing, and the one thing they market is the stand-and-bang fighters,” Askren said (transcription via MMAMania.com). “And they fail to have any recognition of how to market someone who doesn’t fit in that little profile. For me vs ‘GSP,’ if you learn to market me the right way, I am undefeated, I am an Olympian, I’m a damn American hero. I will sell a million pay-per-views if you learn to market me the right way.”
St-Pierre had told Helwani on last week’s episode of the same show that he is not exactly interested in meeting Askren inside the Octagon:
“Ben Askren, I don’t understand why he’s not in UFC, because he’s one of the best welterweights in the world. I think it has to do with maybe a problem that he has with Dana White, but he’s one of the best fighters in the world. And if there’s a guy that in my career, for my legacy, that would have been good to fight, it would have been Ben Askren, because he beat everybody.
“He beat all the guys in Bellator. He beat all the champions outside of the UFC,” St-Pierre said. “But unfortunately, I think he had a fallout with Dana and he never had the chance to fight in the UFC. And therefore, his stock never went to the value that it’s supposed to be at.”
Askren, on the contrary, believes that this is a fight which the fans want to see, and is confident that it would shift big units:
“I have been on record saying I will go to Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 2019, I will beat up ‘GSP,’ and I will have 20,000 Canadians booing me and it will be a fantastic site to see. Absolutely, yes,” he added. “In 2019, I will fight Georges St-Pierre at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada it’s going to be sold out and we will make a lot of money.”
Check out the video below to hear Askren’s take on a bout with GSP, and let us know if you want to see this fight, in the comments section below.