Ben Askren Responds to Recent Dana White’s Comments
By FCF Staff
After UFC President Dana White cited Ben Askren’s performance versus Jay Hieron as a reason why the promotion won’t be offering the free agent a contract, the former Bellator welterweight champ has responded.
Yesterday in Las Vegas, White was asked whether the UFC would make Askren an offer, now that Bellator has confirmed it will not attempt to re-sign the decorated wrestler. The UFC President blasted Bellator for letting go of an undefeated fighter, but add that because Askren “barely beat Jay Hieron”, the fighter still “has work to do.” Askren fought Hieron in 2011 and scored a split decision win over the UFC vet.
Well, on Friday, the 29 year-old posted the following statement on his official Facebook page.
To anyone who points to my Jay Heiron WIN to discredit my abilities consider this. At that point I was LESS than 3 years into my career and relatively inexperienced despite already being the Bellator Champion. I had a tough fight against the #16 ranked fight in the world(at the time) and was able to get the job done. I have learned and progressed significantly since then.
As a point of reference the man fighting for the WW UFC Belt this weekend Johny Hendricks LOST a Unanimous Dec fight to Rick Story(who wasn’t near the top 16 at that point) after fighting for MORE than 3 years.
Moral of story high level wrestlers progress rapidly through their career. Despite my inexperience at the time I was able get the job done against a high level experienced fighter. I am significantly better than I was then and will continue to get the job done against any WW put in front of me.
Askren (12-0) went 9-0 during his run with Bellator, and while his grinding approach has been criticized in the past, the Wisconsin fighter has won back-to-back bouts by stoppage.
Shortly after Askren entered free agency White relayed they were interested in talking to the fighter; however, no offer was reportedly ever made. According to a recent report from MMA Fighting.com, World Series of Fighting has made Askren an offer.