Bellator Champion Ben Askren Knows He Is Eventually Headed to UFC


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.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 29 days ago
  • 388 views

UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones responded to Ben Askren's tweet poking fun at his wrestling achievements. Several days ago, One FC welterweight champion Ben Askren took it upon himself to po read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 36 views

One FC welterweight champion Ben Askren revealed that UFC President Dana White’s recent comments about him were nothing but lies. read news >>

  • 29 days ago
  • 231 views

LAS VEGAS - Ben Askren is the undisputed, pound-for-pound champion of trolling the UFC. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is the latest to respond to one of the undefeated OneFC welterweight t read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 9 views

LAS VEGAS - When the UFC signed CM Punk to a contract with no prior mixed martial arts experience, OneFC welterweight champion Ben Askren was among the first to denounce the move. "@UFC sign a fake w read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

Ben Askren decided to poke fun at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones a few days prior to his much-anticipated title defense against Daniel Cormier, which went d read news >>

  • 26 days ago
  • 61 views

ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren may be persona non grata in UFC circles, but only recently did the back-and-forth between he and UFC President Dana White reach new heights. In the aftermath o read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 27 views

There seems to be no end in site in the ongoing verbal sparring between Dana White and Ben Askren. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently said that he strongly believes fo read news >>

  • 11 days ago
  • 1 views

ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren is lined up for his first title defense.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News read news >>

  • 10 days ago
  • 3 views

Ben Askren will put his ONE FC title on the line in April. The undefeated welterweight, who won the ONE FC 170-pound gold after finishing Nobutatsu Suzuki in 84 seconds in August, will clash fellow B read news >>