Ben Askren made it clear he wanted to fight in the Octagon in recent months, but after being advised by Dana White to go sign with WSOF, the ONE FC bound welterweight has opened fire on the UFC President. It’s just the latest in a series of dramatic events since the former Bellator champ entered free agency.
As you likely know, Bellator recently announced that it would not match any contract offer that headed Askren’s way. White had initially said the UFC was interested in talking to “Funky”; however, more recently the UFC boss man stated that Askren hadn’t fought “anybody”. That’s where the WSOF suggestion came in.
This all came about, it should be noted, after Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney dared the UFC to sign Askren and to have him fight Georges St. Pierre. It also came at a time where Rebney and White have had some choice words for one another. Well, after announcing on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour” that he has in fact signed with ONE FC, here is just some of what Askren had say about White (comments via MMA Fighting.com):
“When you think that Dana is so immature that he’s letting a little bitter rivalry between him and Bellator/Bjorn get in the way of the main point of their business, which is to put the best people in the world in the Octagon and let them fight it out to see who the best is, it’s kind of crazy. You’d think by the time someone has a billion dollars and runs one of the biggest sports organizations in the entire world, that they would have enough maturity to get over a bitter rivalry with a different company.”
“Dana has just been so disrespectful in the media. It’s just shenanigans, like we’ve talked about. The fact that I’m not good enough. That’s laughable and no one really believes that, except the most uneducated fan. He’s just been so disrespectful about that, and I really wished he would’ve said something to my face in the meeting about what his direct issues were, because Dana barely said anything in the meeting. It was more of me and Lorenzo talking than anything.”
Again, it’s important to note that Askren had much, much more to say about the entire situation, which included him defending Rebney’s actions.
All this aside, it looks as though Askren will get back to fighting sometime in March or April, when he makes his ONE FC debut. Hopefully at some juncture the ridiculously talented wrestler and evolving fighter will get to showcase his skills in the UFC.