Would Ben Askren Compete on TUF? He Says ‘Not a Chance’
Still in the limbo known as free agency since Bellator chose not to renew his contract this past summer, Ben Askren had his hopes set on joining the UFC’s ranks. Does that mean the Bellator welterweight champion would be willing to compete in the UFC’s reality-television series, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ for a shot at a contract? According to Askren, absolutely not.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren is, surprisingly, without a job. When Bellator chose not to renew his contract in the summer, it was expected that he would be picked up by another organization immediately – though Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney made that process somewhat convoluted. But with UFC President Dana White hesitant to pick up a fighter he often accused of being boring, the undefeated fighter has yet to find a home in any MMA organization.
If his heart is set on fighting for the UFC, Askren does have an option that many others have tried: ‘The Ultimate Fighter.’ The UFC’s hit reality-television series has been a path for fighters to reach the UFC, and in some cases, seasoned veterans have fought their way through the show and into the top of their respective division.
But Ben Askren says that is simply not an option.
@Benaskren Would you do The Ultimate Fighter show if that was a option?
— Paul McBeth (@Paul_McBeth) December 1, 2013
@Paul_McBeth not a chance
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 2, 2013
Indeed, that would be a rather considerable step down in competition for the undefeated champion of one of the biggest MMA promotions today; and success on the show would not put him much higher on the division rankings. All in all, the risks far outweight the potential prizes.
But this hypothesis does underline Askren’s current position. He is an undefeated fighter who has been unable land a fight contract for months. Some of his fans clamor that he could be the next UFC champion, but without a UFC contract – or any contract for that matter – Askren will only be a question for MMA fans.