At UFC 229, Conor McGregor made his long-awaited return to the Octagon to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov. Ultimately, McGregor lost in the fourth-round by submission. Now, however, another fighter similar to Nurmagomedov’s style in Ben Askren has joined the UFC roster. Would McGregor dare to fight Askren?
According to the newest UFC acquisition, he knows the answer to that question.
“Listen, Conor has so much money. This dumb-dumb — maybe some other welterweight — he said ‘your style doesn’t scare anyone’. Listen, yes, it does,” Askren said backstage at UFC 230, “The last thing someone who walks around a tough guy and fights in a cage for a living wants to do is be completely emasculated, and that’s what I do to you.
“Listen, I hold you down for as long as I want. I punch you as many times as I want and there is not an ‘effing thing you can do about it. That is so completely emasculating, it steals your manhood. That is a feeling none of those guys ever want to feel in their lives. And Conor has enough money that he would never risk that.”
Whether or not this fight would happen, the hope for Askren is it would take place at 165-pounds. If the fight does come to fruition, McGregor would undeniably need to improve his takedown defense. The Irishmen had trouble getting up against the lightweight champion Nurmagomedov and if he had trouble doing that against the Russian, Askren knows it would be even tougher against him.
“I think I am Khabib,” Askren said of how he compares to Nurmagomedov, “Just a little better, little bigger, little funkier.”
In the end, Askren is focusing on fighting top welterweights, and according to BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor, a fight against Darren Till is being targeted for early 2019.
Do you think McGregor and Askren will ever fight each other in the Octagon?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/5/2018.