Former ONE Championship and Bellator titleholder Ben Askren is currently scheduled to make his UFC debut against former UFC champ Robbie Lawler at UFC 235 on March 2. While this high-stakes welterweight scrap is just a month away, much of Askren’s focus seems to be on a fight with undefeated UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, who he hopes to meet in the inaugural title fight for the still hypothetical 165-pound division.
Ben Askren once again called for this fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at Thursday nights’ UFC 235 press conference.
“If the 165 becomes available, you know, America-Russia is always a great storyline,” Askren said (transcript via Middle Easy). “It always is. Since the Cold War. Think about that. Think about how it sells.”
Askren also added that he believes he’ll be able to soundly out-grapple Khabib Nurmagomedov — and he says he’ll chant ‘U.S.A!’ while he does it.
“By that point, we’re gonna have 20-0 Ben Askren vs. 27-0 Khabib,” he said. “Someone’s ‘O’ has gotta go. I will get on his back and I will chant, ‘U.S.A!'”
While these comments from Askren are sure to go over well with his dedicated fans, UFC President Dana White was quick to stomp out all the buzz surrounding a 165-pound division.
“165 isn’t happening.”
Does a fight between Ben Askren and Khabib Nurmagomedov interest you?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/1/2019.