Former ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren, who also held gold for Bellator MMA before closing up shop and heading to Asia, is on the brink of signing with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in a blockbuster “trade” that would send former flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, to the Singapore-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.
So now that he (and everyone else) is expecting a 2019 debut, the former collegiate wrestling deity has wasted no time in calling out the top dogs at 170 pounds (sample here) and yes, he’s still interested in that Georges St-Pierre showdown in Montreal.
One person he won’t be campaigning to fight is former lightweight champion Conor McGregor, despite the opportunity to make a career-high payday. That’s because “Notorious” is too rich to waste an entire fight camp training, simply to go out there and get rag-dolled for three rounds.
“Obviously I haven’t called out Conor McGregor yet, but you know he has way too much money to take one of the whippings I’m giving out,” Askren wrote on social media. “So why bother?”
McGregor claims he’ll be making his return to combat sports in 2019 against the “next in line,” which certainly won’t be Dagestani rival Khabib Nurmagomedov. Then again, their participation in any event depends on what Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) thinks about their respective roles in the UFC 229 melee.