Following news of former UFC welterweight kingpin Georges Saint Pierre becoming a free agent, ONE FC champion Ben Askren has officially called out GSP.
The longtime UFC champ broke the news of his free agency on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, and Askren must have been listening, as he tweeted this just minutes after GSP’s announcement:
Hey @GeorgesStPierre not a lot of people to fight outside the UFC. I'll be your huckleberry!!!
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 17, 2016
Askren, a former Bellator and current ONE FC welterweight champion, is most likely the best 170 pounder outside of the UFC right now, leaving GSP with very few options for fights should he continue to pursue free agency.
“Funky” is a perfect 15-0 with 1 no contest, while Saint Pierre hasn’t fought since beating Johny Hendricks by split decision back in 2013.
GSP had been teasing an MMA return quite a bit lately, and had been rumored for a possible match-up with fellow former-UFC champ Anderson Silva.
But it appears as if GSP’s exclusive apparel deal with Under Armor was the biggest hurdle in re-signing Saint Pierre to a UFC contract. Ever since the UFC’s sponsorship deal with Reebok, there hasn’t been any room for competition, leaving GSP with a very lucrative apparel deal with Under Armor.
GSP went into great detail during Monday’s MMA Hour, targeting the promotion’s new ownership as the main issue in re-signing with the UFC:
“I truly believe that what we asked was totally reasonable,” St-Pierre said of his demands. “For me, it’s totally illogical that this fight didn’t happen in Toronto. We would have both been winners, we would have been winners on both sides, and now instead of that, we’re all losers, especially the fans. We’re all losers.”
“I believe if Lorenzo was still there, it would maybe be different,” he continued. “We were making a lot of progress when we were talking to Lorenzo, but when the new owners came, all the offers were off the table. It was a big step back and it was insulting.”
Who do you see winning in a fight between Askren and Saint Pierre? Would “Funky” win in the biggest fight of his career? Or would GSP return the the sport he helped build with a victory? Sound off, PENN Nation!