Ben Askren is certainly making waves since the Ultimate Fighting Championship acquired him last year in a fighter trade with One Championship with former UFC flyweight king Demetrious Johnson heading the other way.
For the past several months, Askren has been calling out numerous fighters on social media, and the undefeated 34-year-old finally made his Octagon debut at UFC 235 earlier this month, controversially submitting former welterweight champ Robbie Lawler. Fans were split on the referee’s decision to end the fight, and UFC President Dana White and Lawler both called for a rematch.
Askren has stated he isn’t interested in another fight against Lawler and has his sights set on another highly ranked opponent or even another undefeated champion in Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The former One Championship and Bellator MMA welterweight champ spoke to reporters backstage at UFC London and said that a matchup against Nurmagomedov is the perfect storyline given their credentials and fighting records (via MMAJunkie.com):
“If there’s some way I could make that happen next, I would make it happen … I don’t think I can, right? I think I’m like one or two fights away from that happening. But that is something that would be an awesome fight: great storyline, both undefeated, the USA vs. Russia thing always plays. And then you also got like the best wrestler in MMA type of thing playing. So you would have a whole lot of angles to play. That fight would be a lot of fun.”
Askren, like several other fighters, has been campaigning for the UFC to introduce a 165-pound division and a fight between Askren and Nurmagomedov could fit the bill for a dream matchup in the division.