Undefeated Former Bellator Champion Ben Askren Signs with One FC

December 9, 2013
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Ben Askren-Bellator-478x270As was widely expected, former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has inked a deal with One FC.
Askren announced the deal on Monday via his Twitter account.

After UFC president Dana White publicly noted that he intended to pass on Askren after the undefeated champion was cut loose by Bellator, the fighter’s intent to sign with Asia’s largest fight promotion was one of the worst kept secrets in sport.

Evolve MMA, one of the premier fight teams in Asia, announced recently that Askren had joined the team. Evolve MMA owner Chatri Sityodtong said he was honored to welcome Askren to the Evolve MMA Fight Team.

“I believe that Ben is one of the best welterweights in the world and it is a fantastic opportunity for our existing fighters on the Evolve Fight Team to learn from Ben, and for Ben to train under the most decorated team of world champion instructors in the world,” said Sityodtong. “Duke Roufus is one of the world’s best MMA coaches and we will be working together to unlock Ben Askren’s potential. Evolve MMA will be another critical resource in Ben’s quest to become the best in the world.”

Evolve MMA has been one of the major suppliers of talent to One FC, so when White passed on Askren and then Askren subsequently passed on an off from World Series of Fighting, the math became rudimentary.

Aside from being the outgoing Bellator welterweight champion, Askren is a two-time NCAA Division One champion, who also won a gold medal at the grappling world championships in 2009. With his 12-0 record, he is universally recognized as being one of the top welterweights in the world.

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  • Pat Garret

    Why didn’t Curly ,president ufc sign this guy!?

  • I’m so sick of guys disrespecting Ben Askeren. Who cares how exciting his fights are? Fighting is about competition and winning the fight anyway you can. Not every fighter out there has to take damage or be an incredible striker. If other fighters are tired of being held down by high level grapplers then train with high level grapplers. Tyrone Spong is the best stand up guy in the game and he works with Rashad Evans and Anthony Johnson on his wrestling. I really wish UFC gave this guy at least one fight to prove himself with an undefeated records and excellent wrestling credentials.

    • TheCerealKiller

      Why did he run and hide in One FC instead of going to WSoF where there is some competition for him? Dana even told him to got to WSoF to prove himself. All he had to do is go beat Fitch!

      • Sidiez

        Wsof ww champion could not hack it in Bellator. Thats why. The guy went 2-2 and Askren already beat the guys that beat the wsof champion.

        • Timothy Malone

          You win for most misleading comment of the month for all the context you left out of that one.

          One FC has had three welterweight fights on main cards in the entire year of 2013. Those were Adam Kayoom (4-1) VS Zuli Silawanto (6-7), Nobutatsu Suzuki (10-1-2) vs Phil Baroni (15-17), and Vincent Latoel (14-14-2) vs Willy Ni (15-8).

          Are you going to sit there with a straight face and argue that that is good competition for Ben Askren?

          • Sidiez

            I actually didnt leave anything out.

            Steve Carl is the WSOF welter weight champion. Steve Carl went 2-2 in bellators. Askren already beat the guys Steve Carl lost to.

            Im not sure what you think is misleading about that.

            I did not even make a comment about ONE FC so i have no idea what you are talking about me sitting here with a straight face arguing One FC is good competition. You must be on your period or something.

            Neither company has good competition. Jon Fitch is barely surviving in WSOF. He got destroyed by Burkman and has a SPLIT decision win versus Marcelo. Burkman got destroyed by Steve Carl who is now champ. Steve Carl got destroyed in bellator in which Askren dominated the opponents who beat Steve Carl and he dominated many others.

            So no i wont argue that One FC has good competition. But if you think WSOF has good competition you are smoking crack.

            Ben Askren had 2 weak choices and he probably chose the one that paid him alot more. Also One FC is big overseas so it will help his career alot more long term.

      • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

        ONE FC can pay more their stars and, unlike USA, Singapore has no taxes and gross income is the net one

      • That I don’t know and I wish he did go and fight Jon Fitch and Burkman. No offense to the guys over at One FC but I don’t know who he can fight to prove himself. Phil Baroni is probably going to be his first fight.

        • Jay Mcgarrity

          Askren would murder Fitch and Burkman. Askren is like the updated model of Fitch, it would be like trying to run a PS2 against a PS4. I don’t even know why people are starting these conversations when we all know the only competition he will find is in the UFC and he has already proven to be far beyond the entry level. Askren stated on the MMA Hour that he would never be able to get ranked #1 outside of the UFC but maybe he could build himself up to be like the WW Fedor (without the KO’s obviously).

          • Well put my friend. I agree. We won’t be seeing him in the UFC for a good year or two minimum.

          • TheCerealKiller

            “Askren would murder Fitch and Burkman.” He needs to put a name on his resume that someone will actually recognize. Tim Tebow was “the greatest ever” in college, didn’t do so hot in the pros.

          • Jay Mcgarrity

            As much as I like Burkman… I hate to be the one to break it to you, Fitch and Burkman are no longer relevant names in this sport. A dominant win over Palhares would make a statement but who knows if Ben would even be willing to fight him. 90% of the newly signed UFC fighters have no names on their resume so why should Ben, a guy who has a flawless record, need some names on his? As Sidiez has pointed out, Ben has already beaten guys who beat the current WSoF champ and Ben would dominate the WSoF champ. I used to be an advocate of DW but if you think this situation is over Ben Askren’s credentials, you are sad and confused or drinking some of that funny Kool-Aid.

            Ben was willing to take his first fight for free to prove his worth, it’s not like he was asking for Fedor money or anything unreasonable. He stated several times that he would be willing to take significantly less money to sign with the UFC rather than another organization.

      • Jay Mcgarrity

        If you have been following Ben and this story you would know there’s only maybe one guy that can beat Ben in WSOF and he’s a one trick pony. Ben may not even want to fight him due to his track record of holding subs for too long. Dana is being a b!tch about this situation, why should he listen to Dana? There is nobody outside of the UFC that could really test him so how is he going to prove himself in WSoF genius?

        It is my strong belief that Dana is trying to push a portion of UFC worthy fighters over to WSoF to try and kill Bellator. If WSoF can get a strong enough roster and become the path to the UFC, nobody will really want to sign with Bellator. Dana is becoming as bad as the guys he despises at Bellator. He is Ronda’ing it up and Rebney is his Miesha Tate.

    • #2mmafan

      He’s a turd.

      • One of the worst comments ever. If your going to reply at least back yourself up with an intelligent comment. Use some facts along with your opinion so we can all interact and have a friendly conversation. I’am interested to know why you feel this way. Thanks.

    • robc

      Do you watch collegiate wrestling on tv? I don’t. Why? It’s boring as s***. Hence it being removed from the Olympics. No doubt he knows how to win but fighting is also about entertaining and watching him dry hump someone for 25 minutes is painful. It is the reason Fitch and Okami were cut from the UFC. Boring fighters equal boring fights. He has finished his last couple of opponents. Let him go elsewhere and fight a couple more times and see if he can get finishes. IF so, then he will be more attractive to the UFC. It has nothing to do with disrespecting him, I’d rather watch paint dry then see him fight. If he can change up his style, he will earn a spot in the UFC.

      • bajafox

        Wrestling got voted back into the olympics

      • Okami and Fitch also had their chances at titles and and were in some bad fights. Askren is still undefeated and I was hoping he would get one chance to fight someone like Josh Koscheck. Anyone he can beat to interest you in watching him in the UFC? I can’t think of anyone to be honest.

    • Mark McDowall

      The reason he isn’t signing with the UFC is 60% Dana hates everything Bellator. 15% UFC hasn’t (yet)seen a return on their investment on their last Bellator champion. 25% UFC is going more of the sports entertainment route…wanting to put on fights that are exciting over fights that move people towards belts. Askren has come along in his last few fights but you can’t disagree that he has put on some of the most boring fights in Bellators history. He is a very skilled fighter…but a great college and olympic wrestler doesn’t make a complete MMA fighter. I think that if he runs through OneFC with a series of impressive FINISHES…then the UFC would be fools and would only hurt themselves.

      Askren isn’t helping his cause saying that he could beat 75% of the UFC WW division with 1 arm tied behind his back, and the other 25% with ease. There are plenty of fights I would like to see Askren in…but I can think of more reasons why the top 10 guys will beat Askren then I can think of reasons why Askren would beat them.

      • Very well put Mark. You shed new light on the topic for me.

        • Mark McDowall

          I do what I can sir!!

      • bajafox

        Best comment on this subject yet

  • benny

    As he said, uncle Dana gave him the slip and told him to go to wsof. Given that he already blight his trade with bellator and wsof contract offer was rubbish, he felt unobliged, rightly so. Y go to wsof when they have the same rules as bellator and much inferior. With One FC, better contract plus he gets to test himself against different rules, therefore can’t simply rely just on his wrestling. And wsof is also way less entertaining than One FC. Furthermore wsof do less shows, less countries than One FC in 2014/15. Wsof struggle to get in 5,000 ppl into their gate with less TV viewers hip, whereas One FC has packed crowd, last one 20,000 with TV viewership to nearly all of Asia and ppv outside that. He stands to make lots but also compete in an environment that will test his stand up and wrestling. One FC rules do not allow a fighter to just rely on their wrestling/grappling credentials alone. You will see a more exciting Ben in One FC. Time you doubters start and watch to compare.

  • diazfan209

    Phil Baroni is already calling out Askren and pleading to One FC via twitter to have the fight made.