Ben Askren: ‘I Think Fans Appreciate Me Because I Tell The Truth And I’m Genuine’
Ben Askren will make his UFC debut in January 2019 in a highly anticipated bout against Robbie Lawler.
The former ONE welterweight champion was a part of the deal that saw former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson move to ONE in the first ever trade between the UFC and ONE Championship.
Having finally got his place on the UFC roster, Askren fired shots at a number of the biggest names in the UFC welterweight division and the fans lapped it up on social media. Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast today, Askren explained why he thinks the fans appreciate the way he goes about speaking about his rivals.
“I don’t think the number of followers has anything to do with how good I am fighting,” Askren said. “That said, I am good at fighting and I do have a lot of followers. So I think it will help me get the bigger fights because I know the UFC pay attention to those metrics whether it warrants it or not.
“I’m more of a purist competitor and I enjoy the fighting aspect of it, but people enjoy my personality and they enjoy that I tell the truth. I speak plainly, I don’t beat around the bush and I’m just genuine.”
Whilst it’s not been made official yet by the UFC, Askren confirmed that he’s expected to face Lawler at UFC 233 on January 26. Lawler is one of the men Askren didn’t go after on social media after he signed and he went on to explain that he didn’t because he has no problem with him.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about Robbie Lawler so I’m not going to fraudulently say something about him just because I’m going to fight him,” Askren continued. “I’m not. If I don’t like Colby I’m going to say it. If I think Nick Diaz is a dumb-dumb then I’m going to say it. I’m not going to create an unnecessary beef because I’m fighting someone. I think people appreciate all those things about me.”
One man who hasn’t escaped Askren’s wrath is Colby Covington. The former interim UFC welterweight champion has gone back and forth win Askren online since he signed on the dotted line and Askren doesn’t appreciate the way he goes about his business.
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“One of the reasons why Colby isn’t catching on, and Colby has been in the UFC for four-years, he had a fake title shot, and he still had a very small amount of the following that I do,” Askren said. “Whether it’s Instagram or Twitter or whatever. Part of the reason that’s happened is because it’s so contrived.
“When Colby says stuff you don’t think wow that’s unique and that’s genuine. The fact that he has to bring Trump into everything is so that everyone gets mad because everyone hates Trump right. He has to do that to draw interest, it’s just an obvious sign that people aren’t that into you.”