Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, promised Ben Askren a Top 5 opponent for his official Octagon debut, after signing “Funky” in a blockbuster trade that sent former flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, to ONE Championship in Asia.
While Askren has been campaigning for Georges St-Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov “super fights,” the former Bellator MMA champion understands he’s going to need one or two big wins under his belt before he can start lining up the marquee names.
So in the interim, he’ll settle for the second-best contender at 170 pounds.
“I’m hoping to get matched up with this Englishman named Darren Till,” Askren told Rudis Wrestling Podcast (via MMA Fighting). “He just fought for the world title, he’s ranked number two. I think he’s significantly overrated. I’m willing to go to London to fight him, so we will see what happens with that.”
One thing that won’t happen is a Tyron Woodley fight (because of this).
Askren (18-0, 1 NC) hasn’t competed since his technical knockout victory over Shinya Aoki at “Immortal Pursuit” back in late 2017. The bout was expected to be his last as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter; however, the opportunity to transition to UFC would later present itself.
While he waits for UFC to make an official announcement, Askren, 34, is talking to anyone who will listen on Twitter and of course, making a few enemies along the way. I guess there’s no point in pussyfooting around at this stage of his career.