Although the UFC decided against signing 13-0 Ben Askren, the former Bellator welterweight champion said he is excited to compete for his new employers, the Singapore based ONE FC promotion.
Askren has been consistently ranked in the top 10 of the welterweight division, and many were perplexed as to why the UFC didn’t sign the four-time NCAA Division One All-American and Olympic wrestler.
“It is nonsense. The UFC has a history of signing all of the best fighters, and since I am in the top 10 in every ranking, I figured it would happen, [I] guess I was wrong,” Askren said.
UFC President Dana White recently made a statement saying Askren should look into signing with the World Series of Fighting promotion, so that he could fight top level competition outside of the UFC, and prove himself as a UFC-caliber athlete.
Askren took offense to this, saying that he will not be told what to do by someone who is not his employer, and because of that, he decided to take an offer from ONE FC.
“I got to know some of the people involved with ONE FC when I was in Singapore in 2012 and I didn’t get the opportunity to join the UFC, so I joined the next biggest thing. ONE FC is already bigger than PRIDE was in Asia and I hope to be a part of its expansion,” Askren said.
Those who follow the sport closely know of Askren’s skill set, and Askren said “I think the fans who are true fans of MMA are very disappointed that I didn’t sign with the UFC because they know I can compete with the best immediately.”
Until Askren gets a chance to face the best in the world in the UFC, he is content to help build ONE FC, and he said “ONE FC has done a great job cornering the market in Asia. … I am excited to fight in front of the billions of fans in Asia.”
Source: MMAMania.comTags: "Funky" Ben Askren, Bellator, Ben Askren, Dana White, mma, MMA NEWS, one fc, one fc news, Pride, ufc, ufc news