It is no secret that current ONE FC Welterweight Champion Ben Askren and UFC President Dana White don’t exactly see eye to eye.
The pair have verbally sparred back-and-forth on many different topics, most recently the UFC’s signing of former WWE star CM Punk.
Askren’s criticism of the UFC’s new hire prompted Dana White to give this curious theory as to why the undefeated welterweight won’t be seen in the octagon anytime soon:
“The thing is with Ben Askren is that Ben Askren doesn’t really want to fight here, in my opinion,” White recently told UFC.com. “People that are close to him say the same thing. The guy is making a ton of money to fight nobodies, but when you talk and you say a lot of things it keeps your name out there. Trust me when I tell you this, Ben Askren does not want to fight in the UFC. Believe me when I tell you that.”
Askren responed to White’s comments as a guest on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour:
“It’s just blatant lies,” Askren said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “Everything he told you is just a blatant lie about me.”
The former Bellator welterweight champion ended up signing a lucrative two-year deal with Asian promotion ONE FC, this after the Ultimate Fighting Championship showed disinterest in his services:
“First he said I wasn’t skilled enough, and that was laughable to anyone who knew anything about MMA. Then, when they signed a 0-0 fighter, it became more about, ‘wow, really’?” Askren said.
“There was a bunch of other stuff that he said, but at the end of the day, the only real mutual acquaintance we have would be Anthony Pettis, the champ, and I’ve never said anything of that manner to Anthony. I mean, the only thing that he could possibly equate with that is I said: if I do go to the UFC, I want to be paid fairly. So maybe he assumes that because someone wants to be paid fairly, they don’t want to fight in the UFC. But other than that, I couldn’t think of anything I would’ve said that would’ve been inclined towards making someone think that.”
Since joining the ONE FC roster, Ben Askren has defeated opponents Bakhtiyar Abbasov and Nobutatsu Suzuki to extend his record to a perfect 14-0, capturing ONE FC welterweight gold in the process.
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