Ben Askren Wants To Fight Rory MacDonald

Bellator’s Welterweight Champion, Ben Askren left the company last week to pursue his career in another organization.

The UFC are yet to express an interest in signing him, but that hasn’t stopped him from calling out UFC Welterweight Rory MacDonald, who lost a decision to Robbie Lawler at UFC 167 on the weekend.

Dana White has openly stated that he has no interest in signing Askren, due to his boring fighting style and lack of experience fighting top level opponents. He used Askren’s poor performance against Jay Hieron as the reason why he believes Askren isn’t ready to compete in the UFC.

Taking matters into his own hands, Askren has now started campaigning for a fight in the UFC and is willing to go to extreme lengths to prove himself. In an interview with Ariel Helwani during the MMA hour [checkout the video above], he had this to say about Rory MacDonald…

Rory MacDonald is a guy who really irks me. He bugs me. It was really nice to see him get knocked off his pedestal on Saturday night. If Dana White was willing to let me fight him, I would fight for free and retire from the sport of MMA if I lost, because that’s how confident I am.

On paper Ben Askren certainly has a strong case for fighting in the UFC. He left Bellator as their Welterweight Champion, he’s undefeated with 12 wins and he’s also showing a real desire to test himself against some of the best fighters in the world, so why isn’t he being given a chance? There are two possible answers to that question…

The first answer is Dana White’s answer. It’s no secret that Dana White and the UFC like fighters who put on exciting fights. After all, the UFC is in the entertainment business. This poses a problem for Ben Askren, who has developed a reputation for being a boring wrestler, who likes to grind out wins by holding his opponents down. This is a fighting style which Dana White has made no secret of hating and he is frequently vocal about how much it frustrates him when fighters use this technique to stifle their opponents. There is also another reason why the UFC may not be offering Askren a contract…

Again Dana White has made no secret of his dislike for Bellator, Bjorn Rebney and Viacom MMA. Askren recently left Bellator as they couldn’t reach an agreement on his new contract. Bellator claimed that this was due to Askren’s unreasonable demands and that it would be better for both parties if he was to pursue his career elsewhere. Dana White cited this as an example of why he shouldn’t sign Askren saying…

Bellator didn’t even want him and he’s their Welterweight Champion. They let their Welterweight Champion go! What do you think that says about the kid? If Bellator are willing to let their Welterweight Champion leave the company then that should tell you everything you need to know about Ben Askren and trust me, they can afford to keep anyone they want. They have a ton of money over there at Viacom MMA.

Could the UFC’s stance on not signing Askren be more down to their rocky relationship with Bellator than with the fighters ability? The UFC make a point of being the Premier Mixed Martial Arts organization in the world where all the best fighters compete. Surely signing Bellator’s former Welterweight Champion would make sense? Maybe they are trying to send a message to Bellator and anyone affiliated with them, however this does seem unlikely due to their signing of Hector Lombard and attempted signing of Eddie Alvarez.

With a top prospect available as a free agent, it does appear that there may be more to this situation than meets the eye. Hopefully Askren finds a new home soon and hopefully he gets his shot in the UFC.

I'm a Professional Gambler from the UK. I specialize in betting on MMA. I've got 1 kid, a Shih Tzu and I've been making money from gambling for around 8 years now.

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