Ben Askren: “I would like the chance to fight for the spot”

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For Askren – who the UFC opted not to sign after he finished his contract with Bellator, where he reigned as the unbeaten welterweight champ for three years – this new development was equal parts confusing and surprising.

“Everyone in the locker room just thought it was strange,” Askren told MMAjunkie. “Obviously, if you’re on Twitter you heard rumors about it prior to this, but for it to actually happen was a shock, because the UFC is the organization that claims to promote the best fights in the world. Here they signed a guy who not only has no MMA fights but has no real combat-sports background at all. It’s not like he was some boxer or wrestler, or a guy like Brock Lesnar. He was this hulking guy who was a national champion wrestler. CM Punk has no real background in this at all.”

“Obviously, I’d love the chance to fight for the number one spot in the world, but there’s a lot of other things that come along with doing that,” Askren. “For me, yeah, I would like the chance to fight for the spot, but it’s not a must-have. I feel like I’ve proved enough about myself in the sports world. I have no doubt that I’m the best welterweight in the world. I just haven’t gotten the chance to prove that. It would be nice to add that to my name, the undisputed greatest welterweight in the world, but if I don’t get to prove it it’s not going to break my heart.”

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