Former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren is currently building his resume as the ONE FC champ, continuing his unbeaten MMA run.
Askren, appearing on a recent edition of Submission Radio, was asked his thoughts on the UFC title fight that went down between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. When it was all said and done, Lawler had been declared the winner and new champion.
“I would have scored it 3-2 for Hendricks. That was my feeling, and I don’t like Hendricks,” Askren said. “So it’s not like I’m giving it to him cause I like him. That’s just how I would have scored it, how I thought I saw the fight going. Obviously if it’s like ONE FC where you score the fight as a whole, after the fight, I think I’d give it to Lawler, but that’s not the way North American MMA is scored.”
Askren and Hendricks were both standouts on the wrestling mat, developing a rivalry that continued over from high school to college. Askren went to Missouri, Hendricks to Oklahoma State.
“We kind of had a long-term rivalry since high school,” he said. “(We) went to opposing colleges for wrestling and he’s just not a very likeable person in general.”
That same night that Lawler won the belt, the UFC announced the signing of former WWE champion CM Punk. Phil Brooks, who has no previous MMA experience, is in the UFC, while Askren is not. “Funky” had a meeting with UFC president Dana White prior to signing with ONE FC, but the two have had more social media interactions since.
Many have questioned the move of signing Brooks, bringing up Askren in the conversation because of his non-UFC career.
“I had heard rumours on Twitter about that happening, but for that to actually happen it was kinda bizarre because when you think about it, the UFC in its inception was a spectacle, right? They brought all these people together and no one knew what was going to happen, and people tuned in because of that fact. But since then it went from spectacle to sport, where we have real legitimate competitors, they know what they’re doing, everyone’s a good, solid, fighter,” he said. “So it’s kinda turned into a sport right, where it was a skeptical; and now UFC – who is the leader – obviously is trying to go more mainstream, but now it’s almost like they’re going back to spectacle, because you can’t really expect that a 36 year old man who’s got no combat sports experience is going to come into the UFC and be effective. I mean it’s simply to sell pay per views.”