It seems like only a matter of time before former Bellator MMA welterweight champion, Ben Askren, is set free from his ONE Championship contact and signs with Ultimate Fighting Championship in a blockbuster trade that includes former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
But if and when the “Funky” fighter finds his way to the Octagon, he’s not going to walk right into a high-profile showdown with top welterweight contender Colby Covington, despite Askren’s “despicable” callout last Wednesday night on Twitter.
“He’s a jobber, he has a padded record,” Covington told Submission Radio. “He hasn’t fought anybody. If he comes over to the UFC, let him work his way up. He’s gotta earn his way up. He hasn’t done anything worthy. But the guy’s a joke. He’s not on my level. He knows it. He’s old, he’s past his time too, man. And this is my time now.”
While Askren, 34, gets heat for his wrestling-based offense, forged as a collegiate and ultimately an Olympic wrestler, he does have 11 finishes in 18 wins, including five for ONE Championship. Regardless, 30 year-old “Chaos” is remarkably unimpressed.
“Ben Askren is a joke, the guy has no skills,” Covington said. “He hasn’t hurt a fly in 10 years. He was like in mount on the Russian for five rounds and didn’t put one scratch on the guy’s face. So, I mean, the guy can’t strike. He’s scared to strike. I mean, it’s an easy fight, but he’s got a padded record, so we’ll see what happens.”
Despite his overseas duties, Askren (18-0, 1 NC) is a friend and longtime training partner of fellow wrestler and UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who is expected to defend his 170-pound title against Covington at some point in early 2019.
In the interim, perhaps Askren can fulfill this Canadian dream?