ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) has announced the debut plans for Ben Askren and they begin with an immediate welterweight title shot in May.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, the former Bellator champion revealed that he will face the winner of next month's main event at "War of Nations" in Kuala Lumpur, where ONE FC's current 170-pound kingpin, Nobutatsu Suzuki, takes on Brock Larson.
This will be the first bout for "Funky" under his current six fight, two-year contract, one that will net him $50,000 guaranteed just for showing up, along with another $50,000 in bonus pay should he emerge victorious. He also has an incentive included in the agreement that specifies his earnings increase for each subsequent bout, should he continue winning (details on that contract here.)
MMAmania.com has since confirmed with ONE FC that the upcoming card will take place on May 30 and be held at the 12,000-seat Singapore Indoor Stadium. This will leave a little over a month and a half for the winner of the March 14 event to go right back into camp to prepare for arguably the greatest welterweight not competing in UFC.
Let's hope for no injuries at "War of Nations."
When Askren finally does enter the cage for the first time since his departure from Bellator (details), he will be taking the first step toward what he calls his ultimate goal in mixed martial arts (MMA) since the beginning: Fighting inside the fabled Octagon of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).