Former ONE Championship and Bellator titleholder Ben Askren is finally in the UFC. And while his debut — a UFC 233 battle with Robbie Lawler — is still some distance away, he’s already feeling the love from the fans.
Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast recently, Ben Askren explained why he thinks UFC fans have come to appreciate him.
“I’m more of a purist competitor and I enjoy the fighting aspect of it, but people enjoy my personality and they enjoy that I tell the truth. I speak plainly, I don’t beat around the bush and I’m just genuine,” he said (transcript via MMANytt).
Askren elaborated, explaining that he will always give his honest assessment of his opponents — for better or for worse.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about Robbie Lawler so I’m not going to fraudulently say something about him just because I’m going to fight him,” he explained. “I’m not. If I don’t like Colby [Covington] I’m going to say it. If I think Nick Diaz is a dumb-dumb then I’m going to say it. I’m not going to create an unnecessary beef because I’m fighting someone. I think people appreciate all those things about me.”
This is not the first time Ben Askren has mentioned Colby Covington. He’s had plenty to say about the UFC interim welterweight champ over recent weeks.
He explained why he has such a difficult time stomaching Covington — and why he feels some fans are having the same difficulty.
“One of the reasons why Colby isn’t catching on, and Colby has been in the UFC for four-years, he had a fake title shot, and he still had a very small amount of the following that I do,” Askren said. “Whether it’s Instagram or Twitter or whatever. Part of the reason that’s happened is because it’s so contrived.
“When Colby says stuff you don’t think wow that’s unique and that’s genuine. The fact that he has to bring Trump into everything is so that everyone gets mad because everyone hates Trump right. He has to do that to draw interest, it’s just an obvious sign that people aren’t that into you.”
Do you appreciate the up-front and honest personality of Ben Askren?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/23/2018.