Opinion: Ben Askren Doesn’t Need MMA And MMA Never Accepted It Needed Him
Ben Askren is currently retired, but remember there’s a caveat and it involves Georges St-Pierre.
Speaking on the JRE MMA Show yesterday, Askren reiterated his desire to fight the former two-weight UFC champion and made it perfectly clear that he wouldn’t ever consider fighting the UFC’s current welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley.
“I want to fight GSP, I want to be number one,” Askren said. “I don’t want to fight Tyron [Woodley] because we’ve been friends for 20 years. I want to fight GSP, that’s who I want to fight.”
When Rogan asked if he thought the UFC would ever want to make the fight, Askren admitted that he didn’t, however, he is hanging onto the little glimmer of that his wrestling-based fighting style might be a more appealing stylistic matchup compared to a thoroughbred striker.
“GSP doesn’t want to fight anyone that can hit hard because he’s worried about the brain damage. I don’t hit that hard,” Askren said honestly.
When asked if he’d trained with St-Pierre before, Askren said that he hadn’t, but he did point to a number of other legit welterweight talents that he had previously shared the mats with.
“I’ve almost trained with every top welterweight of this era, except GSP and Rory. Shields, Fitch, Diaz a couple of time, Tyron obviously, go down the line. I’ve pretty much trained with everyone in this era.”
Will Askren vs St-Pierre ever happen? Probably not, but we’ve all learned to never say never in this sport.
Would Askren ever consider fighting anyone else? I wouldn’t ever want to speak for him, but no I don’t think he would.
Askren is a rare diamond in the rough when it comes to MMA fighters. He may not have been given the opportunity to fight in the UFC (more on that HERE), but he’s got so much else going on outside of the sport it’s not like he needs it to happen.
The fact of the matter is, Askren doesn’t need MMA and perhaps the saddest thing of all is that MMA never knew it needed Ben Askren.
He’s a clean, 18-0 undefeated, multi-promotion MMA world champion, a 2008 Beijing Olympics Olympian, a co-owner of three wrestling schools in Wisconsin alongside his brother Max, a proud husband, a father of three, and a man who doesn’t shy away from telling the truth.
If that’s a man that the biggest promotion in MMA couldn’t get behind, then what we’re doing here?