Askren, and you shall receive … maybe. Freshly-minted ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren (pictured) might finally be inching his way closer to joining the UFC.
And guess what? Askren doesn’t seem to care.
UFC president Dana White wasn’t impressed enough with Askren’s wrestle-intensive game to sign him after Bellator released him last November, but it appears White is softening his stance on bringing the undefeated fighter on board.
“I think if he keeps winning, he could get a shot over here,” White said following Saturday’s UFC 177 post-fight press conference. “Listen, Ben Askren said a lot of stupid s*** when he left, but I don’t care about stuff like that,” White said. “I could care less about any of that. We’ll see how the kid fights, what he keeps doing, and we’ll go from there. Contrary to popular belief – well, no, I do hold grudges if you’re a real idiot. Yeah, I’ll hold a grudge until the day I drop dead.
“But with fighters, I don’t really do that with fighters. These guys are built different than everybody. They’re tough, man, and this is what they do for a living, and they’re going to say stuff like that. If Tito [Ortiz] could come back to the UFC, anybody can come in here. Believe me, because there’s nobody on earth I hated worse than Tito. And Tito came back. You don’t have to like them to do business with them. So we’ll see.”
Askren, who was roughly 24 hours removed from TKOing Nobutatsu Suzuki to capture the ONE FC crown, didn’t seem blown away by White’s about-face.
“Oh thank you master @danawhite can I please have a shot,” Askren sarcastically tweeted in response to White’s latest stance.
Askren owns a perfect 14-0 professional record and is regarded by most as the best welterweight not currently competing in the UFC.