UFC announces March stop in London — but will they bring Ben Askren?

Ben Askren, UFC London

The UFC is headed back to London, England’s O2 Arena on Saturday, March 16. The promotion announced this news on Thursday.

“Ever since our first event in London in 2002, the city has always been a special location for the UFC. The fans here are some of the most passionate in the world and always turn up in their numbers to show their support,” UFC Senior Vice President, International and Content, David Shaw said in an official release (via MMA Mania). “The UK is home to many of our world class mixed martial artists and its fantastic to see the sport continue to go from strength to strength here. It’s going to be a great night of action.”

The timing of this news is definitely interesting, as new UFC signee Ben Askren recently divulged that he’d like to make his promotional debut opposite England’s Darren Till — perhaps even on Till’s home turf. 

“Obviously, my number one and two would be GSP [Georges St-Pierre] and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] but I know there’s no way in hell I’m getting either one of those two first round,” Ben Askren said on a recent episode of his Rudis Wrestling podcast. “So I’m hoping to get matched up with this Englishman named Darren Till. He just fought for the world title, he’s ranked number two. I had a little Twitter fight with him. I think he’s significantly overrated. So I would like to fight him.”

“I’m willing to go to London to fight him, so we will see what happens with that,” Askren said.

While it’s clear that Ben Askren is hoping to be on this upcoming UFC London card, it’s hard to say whether or not this idea will align with the UFC’s plans for him.

Whatever the case, we’re likely to see other fighters such as UFC welterweight Danny Roberts and light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa compete on the London card.

“There’s nothing like the London fans, especially for me as it’s my home town,” Manuwa said in the UFC’s release, although he’s currently scheduled for a UFC 231 fight with Thiago Santos. “Walking out to a packed O2 arena, looking at the crowd and seeing so many familiar faces is a dream in itself.”

Do you think we’ll see Ben Askren on the UFC’s upcoming UFC London card?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/2/2018.