In a historic move, ONE FC and UFC worked out a trade deal involving Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren. UFC offered up its former flyweight champion, Johnson, for the unbeaten welterweight. The 34-year old Askren announced his retirement from fighting following his fight with Shinya Aoki in November 2017, but left the door ajar for a return.
“The thing about me is I’m 18-0, and everyone wants to know am I really as good as I think I am. That’s what everyone wants to know. No one likes a story that doesn’t have an ending, and there wasn’t a good ending to this story. I always knew that was kind of unsettling to everybody,” said Askren during an appearance on UFC Tonight.
“When I retired, I always knew there was a chance that I was going to come back, but I wasn’t always sure that it was going to work out. This worked out fantastic. I mean, it’s part of history, the first trade ever. The UFC, they traded the literal best fighter ever on planet Earth to get a superstar, Funky Ben Askren. They better put me in a big, damn fight right away,” he added.
UFC president Dana White recently stated that the former Bellator and ONE FC welterweight champion would face a top-five ranked opponent in his promotional debut. Askren has the same idea.
“If it were a perfect world, I’d go GSP (Georges St-Pierre) and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) and then we’ll see. I know it’s not perfect, so who I’m really shooting for first is Darren Till. He’s ranked No. 2. He doesn’t have a dance partner. He was able to get a few jabs in via Twitter and so I say, hey, let’s match it up bro. Are we Twitter tough guys or are we going to get in the dang cage and figure it out? So that would be my No. 1. Once I beat him up, then I’m looking to either Khabib or Georges,” Askren added.
“After that, I have no idea who No. 3 is.”
(Courtesy of UFC on FOX)