Former Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren recently announced that he had inked a six-fight, two-year deal with ONE FC and that he would be making his debut with the Singapore-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in early 2014.
"Funky" also blamed Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White and his "immaturity" as the reason for not getting a chance to display his skills inside the Octagon on the heels of a recent meeting between the two parties at ZUFFA headquarters.
Furthermore, many believe ego had a big part in Askren's decision to sign with ONE FC over World Series of Fighting (WSOF), the company White advised Ben to compete under in order to get some competition.
While White agrees WSOF has more challenges for Askren, he really didn't care where "Funky" signed, he was just offering up a suggestion and revealed that the meeting was never requested by UFC officials, but rather by Askren himself.
And as White clarified to MMA Fighting, the real reason he didn't sign the former two-time NCAA division 1 wrestling champion is because he simply isn't his "type of guy."
"First of all, we didn't ask for that meeting, he asked for that meeting. There was never any, ‘Let's meet with Ben Askren.' Ben Askren wanted that meeting. This is a business and a sport where, you saw the whole ‘Rampage' thing, how that went down. We bring in the best guys in the world, they compete, they win world titles they do whatever; but at the end of the day, this is still a business. And you want to be in business with guys that want to be in business with you, guys that are happy. I can just tell from the comments that were made that Ben Aksren isn't one of those kind of guys. He's not a guy, I'm hearing just stupidness like that the reason he went to ONE FC is because he heard that I wanted him to go to World Series of Fighting. I don't give a fuck where he goes. He can go fight in A.B.C. on fucking Pluto, for all I care. I wanted him to go to World Series of Fighting? I don't give shit where the guy goes, personally. But, there is competition at World Series of Fighting. There was no competition at Bellator, I didn't even know ONE FC was still in business. And I'm not taking a shot at these guys (ONE FC) I have nothing against them, I didn't even know they still existed. I have nothing to do with World Series of Fighting, they have competition there. There's actually competition where the guy, it sounds to me like this guy wants to walk in somewhere, make a shitload of money, and, I don't know, he's just not my kind of guy."
And the feeling, apparently, seems to be mutual.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day it looks like the Askren/White saga has come to an end (we think) as Ben will attempt to keep his mint record (12-0) intact and spearhead ONE FC's expansion in the MMA world in the process.
And from the sounds of it, once "Funky's" contract with ONE FC is up, it doesn't seem like he'd be welcome inside the Octagon. Then again, White has a tendency to have a change of heart.