Ben Askren understands what has to take place if he wants to improve his relationship with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White.
Askren is set to make his UFC debut on March 2 at UFC 235. He’ll be going one-on-one with former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler. The bout was scheduled to take place on Jan. 26 at UFC 233. Plans changed when UFC 233 was postponed.
Ben Askren Talks Relationship With Dana White
In the past, Askren and White have exchanged verbal barbs. White claimed that the impression he got of Askren was that he wanted big paydays facing lesser competition. Speaking to reporters during a recent scrum, Askren talked about his relationship with White now that he’s on the UFC roster (via MMAJunkie.com):
“I think when when one person and another person have a disagreement, the thing you need to do, if you want to have respect for each other, is sit down and have that conversation,” Askren said. “We haven’t been able to do that so far. He’s said nice things (in) the media, but that’s also because I volunteered to do the dirty work. I volunteered to switch and be the main event against Robbie (at UFC 233), Robbie said no. I volunteered to fight ‘Marty from Nebraska’ (Kamaru Usman), ‘Marty’ said no. I volunteered to fight dumb Colby (Covington). So he sees the value in what I’m doing, so now he’s being nice.
“It’s whatever, though. What has happened in the past doesn’t just go away. Because of his position, he thinks that’s how it goes. But listen, I’m here to fight people in the cage, not be anyone’s best friend. If we develop a friendship, that’s fine. But I’m here to fight people in the cage.”
Do you think the relationship between Ben Askren and Dana White will improve, or does it not even matter?