Last weekend, in the first bout of the Bellator 198 main card, Brazilian jiu-jitsu star Dillon Danis stepped into the cage for his first mixed martial arts bout. Though he took a few licks early in the fight, Danis ultimately came out on top in impressive fashion, tapping his foe with a toehold in the first frame.
In his post-fight interview with cage-side commentator “Big” John McCarthy Danis shot for the stars with a callout of ostensibly retired former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren, who has recently been angling for big-ticket fights with Rory MacDonald and Georges St-Pierre.
“I feel like I am the one to beat his undefeated record,” Danis said of Askren (transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting). “It would, I think, be a ground fight and it would be an easy submission for me. He does not like leg attacks. I know his game very well. I feel like he would be scared to go to the ground with me. So, yeah. I believe it would be an easy fight.”
Unfortunately for Danis, Ben Askren quickly shut down this callout, expressing total disinterest in the matchup.
He realizes this isn’t reality so he feels safe doing so. Maybe he should fight someone with a winning record first https://t.co/X2dGlYTVyI
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) April 29, 2018
“He realizes this isn’t reality so he feels safe doing so,” Askren said in a Tweet shortly after Danis made his callout. “Maybe he should fight someone with a winning record first.”
Despite Askren’s response, Danis still seems optimistic the fight could happen.
“He responded, so I wonder why he responded,” Danis said. “I’m pretty sure he’s not responding to just anybody. He knows that once he responds to me, his name is gonna be all over the place. Probably the most media he’s ever gotten.”
Interestingly, Bellator President Scott Coker also said that he has no interest in signing Ben Askren for a one-off fight, be it against Danis, MacDonald, or anybody else.
“Ben, I don’t really think wants to fight,” Coker told the media shortly after Bellator 198 . “I think he wants to fight one more fight and be done with it. That’s what I understand.”
“I want fighters that are going to be here fighting [regularly].”
Does a fight between Ben Askren and Dillon Danis interest you?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/1/2018.