Ben “Funky” Askren cut ties with Bellator in November. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
While Ben Askren appears close to signing on One Fighting Championship’s dotted line, UFC President Dana White thinks the former Bellator MMA welterweight champion should plant his flag closer to home.
In a video interview with MMAJunkie.com, White advised Askren to join the Las Vegas-based World Series of Fighting organization, where bouts with champion Steve Carl and Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Josh Burkman and Jon Fitch could await. Askren was granted his Bellator release on Nov. 14, clearing him to sign elsewhere.
Askren was a four-time NCAA All-American wrestler, two-time national champion and two-time recipient of the prestigious Dan Hodge Trophy at the University of Missouri. He represented the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing before transitioning to the professional mixed martial arts scene in February 2009.
A Hartland, Wis., native, Askren has started his MMA career with 12 consecutive victories. He won the Bellator Season 2 welterweight tournament with victories over Ryan Thomas and Dan Hornbuckle before capturing the organization’s 170-pound crown with a unanimous decision over Lyman Good at Bellator 33 in October 2010. Askren successfully defended the title four times prior to being cut loose. He last appeared at Bellator 97 in July, when he stopped Andrey Koreshkov on fourth-round punches in Rio Rancho, N.M.
Items of interest on the Sherdog.net forums this week: