If former Bellator MMA and ONE Championship welterweight titleholder, Ben Askren, is going to headline a pay-per-view (PPV) fight card for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), then he’s going to first need to defeat Robbie Lawler and earn a 170-pound title shot.
Even then, Dana White and Co. might relegate him to co-main event (as punishment for this).
The “Funky” wrestler was ready, willing, and able to take over headlining duties for the since-canceled UFC 233 event, previously scheduled for Sat., Jan. 26, 2019 inside Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
UFC wasn’t having it.
“I was ready and willing to save the day for my new bosses,” Askren told Ariel Helwani. “Heck, I’m ready to fight tomorrow. If Robbie needs a little more time get ready to lose to me, so be it. Though I’d be more than happy to fight in Brooklyn and then kick his ass on March 2.”
UFC 233 got axed (but not murdered) because the promotion was unable to find a suitable main event, which is a nice way of saying that White punished the rest of the card because Tyron Woodley hurt his hand and wouldn’t be ready in time.
Not making money beats losing money, particularly in the PPV business.
That means the Askren vs. Lawler fight will instead head to UFC 235 on March 2 in Las Vegas, a fight that may send “Funky” into a holding pattern if Woodley, his friend and teammate, is able to dispose of Kamaru Usman at some point over the next few months.
If so, there’s always this 170-pound showdown.