Askren responds to White


When Bellator unconditionally released their welterweight champion Ben Askren yesterday following weeks of posturing, Askren was excited to join the UFC.

"I am now free to go to the @UFC and beat whoever I want," he tweeted.

However, UFC President Dana White said emphatically that he was not interested in Askren, and held Bellator in contempt.

"No interest," said White, as transcribed by MMAFighting. "As far as the kid, as far as the level he's on? He barely beat Jay Hieron, you know? He's got some work to do, he can fight in another organization and work his way up and go from there."

White also expressed unbridled disdain for Bellator.

"He's their champion and they don't want him. What does that tell you?" asked White. "They don't even care... The fact that they would just give away a guy who was undefeated, it just shows what kind of people you are."

White additonally expressed empathy for fighters under contract to Bellator, referring to the league as "that s---hole."

Now Askren has responded.

“(Dana) said he was interested two months ago, nothing had changed. We will see what happens.”

“Dana’s a businessman, so I’m sure he sees the value that I can bring to the organization because they haven’t brought in a high-level 170-pounder in a while, so I think it would bring a lot of new and exciting matchups to the division."

The 29-year-old fighter also labeled himself the No. 6 170-pound fighter. His ideal scenario, however, is to fight immediately for a title.

“But if they offer me someone else good, Condit, Shields or whoever, I’m good with that,” said Askren. “Obviously, I don’t want to have to fight a couple of scrubs.”

Asked whether a move to the UFC was in the back of his mind during talks with Bellator, he said, “It’s always in my mind that I want to be the No. 1 fighter in the world, and however I can accomplish that, I’ll accomplish that.”

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Askren later addressed White's remark about Jay Hieron. Askren beat Hieron via split decision at Bellator 56 on 10/29/2011.

"To anyone who points to my Jay Heiron WIN to discredit my abilities consider this," said Askren. "At that point I was LESS than 3 years into my career and relatively inexperienced despite already being the Bellator Champion. I had a tough fight against the #16 ranked fight in the world(at the time) and was able to get the job done. I have learned and progressed significantly since then.

"As a point of reference the man fighting for the WW UFC Belt this weekend Johny Hendricks LOST a Unanimous Dec fight to Rick Story(who wasn't near the top 16 at that point) after fighting for MORE than 3 years.

"Moral of story high level wrestlers progress rapidly through their career. Despite my inexperience at the time I was able get the job done against a high level experienced fighter. I am significantly better than I was then and will continue to get the job done against any WW put in front of me."

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tags: UFC   Bellator   Ben Askren   Dana White   

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Recent Comments »

maxbrothersinc site profile image  

11/17/13 4:15 AM by maxbrothersinc

Low level judo? If she has low judo, how high does judo go?

The Pendulum site profile image  

11/16/13 5:04 PM by The Pendulum

"Can't stand one dimensional fighters."Gives the women's belt to a chick who has only won fights by armbar with low level Judo, before she had even fought in the UFC.

UGCTT_ATLien site profile image  

11/16/13 4:16 PM by UGCTT_ATLien

I'm not really a fan of Askren, but this is getting ridiculous. The UFC MUST sign him. This IS a sport guys, and he's earned the shot.I'd love to see him fight Maia.

Lobo8 site profile image  

11/15/13 8:50 PM by Lobo8

This all just talk. Im sure ufc is very interested and will sign him soon. You cant just ignore a high level wrestler who is undefeated, he is deserving and will get his chance.

time traveling 12er site profile image  

11/15/13 8:49 PM by time traveling 12er

Being diplomatic and diggin deep with the MMAth to defend himself.  Even his verbal fights are boring!  Just kidding, just had to get that out of the way.  I'm pretty sure this is all part of the negotiations and we'll see him in the UFC at some point.  If he really wants that direct title shot I'm guessing they're going to ask him to go out there and fight some more people.  Possibly beat Fitch.  Being that he's an elite wrestler I'm guessing he's very well versed in the importance of leverage and positioning. 

Chris27 site profile image  

11/15/13 8:31 PM by Chris27

UFC should sign him, he deserves his shot but you know all the people complaining about the UFC not signing him will be the first ones complainnig if they did sign him and he puts on a boring fight. Will be the same people crying about how the UFC is retarded for putting him in a main event on FS1 and let him lay on someone for 5 rounds.  

ChaosOverkill site profile image  

11/15/13 8:21 PM by ChaosOverkill

If ASkren thinks he arbitrarily deserves the top 5 because of his "scrub" wins in BFC he's going to let a stalemate keep him out.   Be realistic or suffer for it, even so Dana should sign him with no guarantees

ChaosOverkill site profile image  

11/15/13 8:21 PM by ChaosOverkill


MITman2k site profile image  

11/15/13 7:37 PM by MITman2k

True, although in regards to your 1st point, Jay hieron himself was also relatively inexperienced, having had 4 fights( two less than GSP at the time) The gulf in fight time between Hieron and Askren was much greater comparitively. Now that is not to excuse Askren's performance but just saying this for the sake of comparison if we're looking at Hieron/GSP vs. Hieron/Askren GSP. On the larger point, however, GSP was just a plain beast in his early days in terms of competition, before that point he had already beaten Karo pariysian, Pete Spratt and Thomas Denny, opponents whom all had far more ring time experience then GSP.

mendelson site profile image  

11/15/13 7:35 PM by mendelson

Ben is not onesimensional. It's just that no one he's faced so far is good enough to stop his wrestling and force him to strike. Truth is, at 170, he'd be the best wrestler in the UFC too. The problem with that is, strikers get taken down quickly.... Leads to boring fights. This means less $$.Anyone else long for the days when excitement didn't matter much, but skill rules the roost??