The biggest knock on Ben Askren throughout his dominant MMA career has been that we haven’t seen him face the very best and he realizes that.
But now we’re going to get too as the former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight king is finally on his way to the UFC.
Over the years Askren has put in the work inside the cage to establish and sell himself as much as he has outside of it with his words. Despite this, the NCAA Division I and Olympic freestyle wrestler understands the position that he’s in.
“This is it for me,” Askren said on The MMA Hour, “The thing that I think was the number one part for me…and number two, the thing that interests so many people and why my situation was so unsettling is that we didn’t know. We don’t know if I’m as good as I say I am. Nobody knows, right? We haven’t seen it.
And everyone wants finality. Everyone wants closure and we didn’t have closure on this and now we’re gonna get closure.
For me, I didn’t want to protect my record. I don’t give a damn about my record. I want to go fight the best guys in the world and show people I’m the best. And hey, if something doesn’t go my way…I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Maybe it’s a possibility, I realize that that’s a part of competition, that’s what happens. But we’re gonna get to the finality, we’re gonna get some closure and we’re gonna see what’s going down.”
Askren’s last fight came in November 2017 when he dominated lightweight legend Shinya Aoki for a quick first-round TKO victory.
His UFC debut has yet to be scheduled but Dana White has stated that it will come against a top 5 welterweight.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/30/2018