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Ben Askren was on the rise to the top of Western world in MMA as Bellator’s longtime welterweight champion. When his time with Bellator ran its course, Askren didn’t flee to the UFC, he went halfway around the world to fight for ONE Championship, leaving the familiarity of fighting in America behind.
The answer is quite simple, really. Because he didn’t want to work for Dana White.
“That guy’s a freaking scumbag,” Askren told MMAWeekly.com ahead of the final fight of his career.
Askren steps into the ONE Championship cage as the promotion’s welterweight champion for the final time on Friday in Singapore, where he will fight Evolve MMA teammate and ONE lightweight titleholder Shinya Aoki. Following the fight, Askren will step aside and take up a position with the promotion where he will end his career.
But first, Askren shed some light on why he chose to spend the final years of his career in Asia, and what pulled him away from the UFC and to ONE Championship.