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Ben Askren needs Tyron Woodley’s permission to fight for UFC title

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has a new welterweight king upon the 170-pound throne, thanks to Kamaru Usman’s masterful performance against Tyron Woodley in the UFC 235 co-main event last weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada (see it again here).

By capturing the crown, the “Nigerian Nightmare” also opened the door for Ben Askren to compete for the division title. “Funky” is a longtime friend and training partner of “The Chosen One” and both vowed to put their bromance before their title aspirations.

Kind of like these guys.

But now that Woodley has been taken out with the trash, would Askren rush right into a “Marty” meet up? Doing so would take away Woodley’s desire to land an immediate rematch to bolster this increasingly-bold claim.

“I would consult Tyron first,” Askren told The MMA Hour. “But as long as he kind of gave his blessing, yeah, of course. This was a path that I haven’t even gone down, because I didn’t really see a scenario where Tyron lost to Marty. So I hadn’t even started thinking this way. And now that he’s calling me out, I probably have to talk to Tyron a little bit and see where we go from there.”

Askren made his Octagon debut at UFC 235 with a controversial win over Robbie Lawler (more on that here). The victory was good enough to land him at No. 6 in the official rankings, where he now stands to fight the winner of this main event.

Unless promotion president, Dana White, get this wish fulfilled.

The current plan is to have Usman make his first title defense against former interim titleholder and bitter rival, Colby Covington, at some point later this summer. What happens to Woodley between now and then remains to be seen, but he’s certainly no stranger to extended time off.

Besides, he’s got plenty of other things to keep him busy.