Ben Askren is not the most exciting fighter in the world, but he may be the most dominant. His time in Bellator showed that a dominant wrestler could find success in mixed martial arts (MMA) without showing a well-rounded skill set usually found in the modern era.
His opponents knew his game plan and still failed at preventing the fight from hitting the mat. And where other wrestlers are content with working from the guard, Askren's abilities on the mat allow him to pass to more dominant positions. On more than one occasion, he's mentally broken his opponents just by out grappling them.
Unlike the case of Eddie Alvarez, who became a pawn in the ongoing battle between the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Bellator/Viacom, Askren was given his full release from the promotion, making him the most talented unrestricted free-agent on the market.
Without a doubt, he's a top 10 talent, who has done all he possible could in Bellator. The next logical step is naturally the UFC's welterweight division.
However, the decision to pass on Askren may not be cemented as 'Funky' will be meeting with UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta on Monday at UFC headquarters. The news was originally reported by Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com.
While White is adamant that the UFC has no intentions of signing Askren, he's never been one to let the competition sign a talented fighter. Askren may not be exciting, but he provides a tough test for everyone in the welterweight division. Until he's fighting in the Octagon, it's hard to say the best fighters fight in the UFC.