The undefeated Askren is one of the most accomplished wrestlers competing in mixed martial arts today. While at the University of Missouri, Askren won two NCAA Division I National Championships. In his four-year collegiate wresting career, the Wisconsin native only lost to two competitors, Chris Pendleton and Ryan Lange. He competed in the 2008 Olympic Summer Games.
In February 2009, Askren transitioned into MMA. He won the Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Tournament in 2010, earning a shot at then-champion Lyman Good. He defeated Good at Bellator 33 by unanimous decision and defended the title four times.
Following Bellator 97, Askren’s contract with Bellator MMA had been fulfilled and the organization decided to release the champion. He had hoped to ink a deal with the UFC, but a deal never materialized. He was told he needed to gain more experience before landing in the UFC.
After the UFC announced they had signed Brooks, Askren quickly brought up on Twitter the inconsistency in him being told that he needed more experience while Brooks was signed without having a single fight.
All you dummies believed @danawhite when he said I need more experience. Then he signs a 0-0 fake wrestler. LOL on you
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 7, 2014
UFC president Dana White responded to Askren’s criticisms during this week’s edition of The Download, and thinks the 30-year-old fighter is simply seeking publicity by continually criticizing the UFC.
“The thing is with Ben Askren is that Ben Askren doesn’t really want to fight here, in my opinion. People that are close to him say the same thing,” White said. “The guy is making a ton of money to fight nobodies, but when you talk and you say a lot of things it keeps your name out there. Trust me when I tell you this, Ben Askren does not want to fight in the UFC. Believe me when I tell you that.”