When Ben Askren retired with a squeaky clean record at ONE: Immortal Pursuit, he left an asterisk above the ‘R’ word. He said that the only thing that could lure him back was a shot at the best welterweight in the world, not the third best, not the second best, but the best. The only problem with that was that Georges St-Pierre was a middleweight now and Tyron Woodley is too great of a friend for Askren to look for a fight with. However, as of last night, St-Pierre is no longer a middleweight and has vacated his middleweight title. That was enough for Askren to double-down on his call-out.
@GeorgesStPierre if you want to make it more interesting I’ll put my bitcoin against yours as a side bet that you don’t make it 5 rounds against me.
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 8, 2017
“I’ve never said I’m retired, period. I’ve said that I’m retired with the caveat that if I somehow get to fight to prove that I’m No. 1 in the world, I will take that opportunity. I’m not gonna fight to be No. 3 or 5 or 7 or anything else. Just to be No. 1, that’s it. It’s not really a money thing, it’s a pride thing. There’s this other guy who was a very famous welterweight named Georges St-Pierre who doesn’t seem to have a dance partner right now and doesn’t seem to want to fight Tyron [Woodley] or Robert Whittaker. So I figure, he doesn’t want to get hit hard, I don’t hit that hard. So we might as well just get in there and get after it.“If he needs a dance partner, I’m more than willing to do it. I’ll come to Montreal and fit the bill for him. We’ll fill out the Bell Centre.” — Ben Askren on The MMA Hour.
This isn’t just any regular old fightin’ words, Ben Askren is trying to sweeten the pot for Georges St-Pierre by offering up his Bitcoin in a prop bet. He’s so confident that the fight wouldn’t go the distance that he’s willing to throw down the high-dollar cryptocurrency on it. As we all know, the UFC has been a chasm that Askren just hasn’t been able to cross his entire career. With the organization — who has failed to ever come to a deal with the undefeated fighter — standing in the way, it seems like this fight is highly unlikely, but anything can happen. The UFC being afraid that St-Pierre may do the exact same thing to the welterweight division as he just did to the middleweight division only helps the proposition of a one-off superfight instead of another UFC title bout.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/8/2017.