Ben Askren at Bellator 33

Ben Askren at Bellator 33

When Ben Askren was at the University of Missouri, he always dreamed of competing in the Olympics.

Take nothing away from his years spent as a Tiger competing with the best collegiate wrestlers there were, as well as Askren taking home two NCAA National Titles, he had goals that would take him beyond that.

Askren reached for the gold when he joined the U.S. Olympic wrestling team in 2008, competing in Beijing.

Now, Askren is reaching a similar dichotomy in his MMA career. Undefeated as a professional fighter, Askren sits at 8-0 with a fight pending this fall against former UFC and Strikeforce welterweight Jay Hieron.

Still, as much as Askren has loved his time with Bellator, he understands that to reach his ultimate goals, just like in college, he’s likely going to have to head to another promotion to do so.

“Now it’s just a matter of time,” Askren told MMAWeekly Radio about a move to the UFC. “Because since they bought Strikeforce and obviously Pride’s no longer around, or any other viable Asian promotion, I mean that’s it. I’m on the top of Bellator and I’m ranked 15th in the world, and so I think every single person above me is either in the UFC or Strikeforce, which is essentially all UFC.

“It’s just a matter of time.”

Askren has been with Bellator since his fourth professional fight. He entered their welterweight tournament, where he went on to win the title, and then defeated former UFC fighter Nick Thompson in a featured fight.

The former Missouri wrestler has been called one of the brightest prospects to enter the sport in years, and with his wrestling pedigree and continued training with coaches like Duke Roufus, the sky’s the limit.

Bellator has been good to him, according to Askren, but he also understands the glass ceiling he’s going to hit there. His goal isn’t about the biggest paycheck, it’s about being the best.

“I love what Bellator’s doing for me, and I’ve got nothing against that, but my goal is to be the best in the world, and I simply can’t accomplish that in Bellator at this point,” Askren said.

“If I somehow could, I’d be fine to stay in Bellator.”

The toughest part for Askren is that he knows that to get to the top of the welterweight division he needs to face names like Georges St-Pierre, Jake Shields, Jon Fitch, and Josh Koscheck.

All of those roads lead to the UFC.

“Exactly,” Askren answered when asked if a move to the UFC was inevitable. “If I want to accomplish the goals I want to accomplish, then yes.”


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.


Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.


view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Fedor Emlianenko, Kazushi Sakuraba and Frank Shamrock all headed to Bellator Fan Fest

  • 12 days ago
  • 32 views

Three of the biggest stars of the early days of mixed martial arts will be part of the promotion for Bellator's next tentpole event on Sept. 19 in San Jose. Bellator head Scott Coker confirmed that F read news >>

Fedor Emelianenko headed to Bellator MMA's Fan Fest along with Kazushi Sakuraba

  • 11 days ago
  • 232 views

Pride Never Die? The mixed martial arts (MMA) world is still waiting to see if Fedor Emelianenko will finally sign on the dotted line to compete inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octago read news >>

Paul Daley vs. Fernando Gonzalez set as kickboxing bout at 'Bellator 142: Dynamite'

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator MMA welterweights Paul Daley and Fernando Gonzalez will trade in their MMA gloves for kickboxing mitts at next month’s combined Bellator MMA and GLORY spectacular.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Paul Daley takes on Fernando Gonzalez in kickboxing match at Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

Paul Daley has his opponent set for Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1. The British star will meet Fernando Gonzalez in a kickboxing match on the hybrid card Sept. 19 in San Jose, sources told MMAFighting.com. read news >>

Glory featherweight title fight added to 'Bellator MMA: Dynamite' event

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 views

Another title will be at stake in the "Bellator MMA: Dynamite" card in San Jose. The hybrid MMA and kickboxing event on Sept. 19 will feature another Glory title fight as featherweight champion Gabri read news >>

Bellator MMA: 'Dynamite 1' card adds Gabriel Varga vs Serhiy Adamchuk GLORY featherweight title fight

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 views

Another GLORY title fight has been announced for the Bellator MMA: "Dynamite" card on Sept. 19, 2015. GLORY Featherweight Champion Gabriel Varga will defend his title against Serhiy Adamchuk in the k read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2016 with Franklin, Askren, Fernandes and more

  • 22 days ago
  • 0 views

Stream or download Thursday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Rich Franklin, Ben Askren, Bibiano Fernandes, Nieky Holzken and Loren MackFiled under: MMAjunkie Radio, News, Radio, UFC read news >>

Latest Bellator 141 fight card and rumors for 'Guillard vs Girtz' on Spike TV

  • 23 days ago
  • 2 views

Two Lightweights collide in the main event of Bellator 141: "Guillard vs. Girtz," which is scheduled to go down inside Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif., on Aug. 28, 2015. The Spike TV-tel read news >>

MMAjunkie Radio (noon ET): Rich Franklin, Ben Askren, Bibiano Fernandes, Mack, Holzken

  • 23 days ago
  • 0 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) with a quartet of guests from ONE Championship: Rich Franklin, Ben Askren, Bibiano Fernandes and Loren Mack.Filed under: News read news >>

Ilima Macfarlane Moves Past 'Soccer Mom' Viral Video with New Bellator Contract

  • 24 days ago
  • 43 views

The crazy part about the way it all ended up going down is that Ilima Macfarlane just wanted a fight. She'd fought six times as an amateur. At Team Hurricane Awesome, Macfarlane's San Diego-based gym read news >>