Ben Askren’s got the MMA world buzzing thanks to a recent interview where he trashed Dana White (and yes, getting cut off by the host made the segment go viral), and now the ONE FC champ has taken aim at his UFC counterpart, Johny Hendricks.
According to Askren, his issues with Hendricks date back to when they were both collegiate wrestlers, and more specifically, a match the latter had with “Funky’s” teammate Tyron Woodley. Askren claims (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“He was wrestling my teammate Tyron Woodley in the Big 12 finals, 2005-06, somewhere around there, and [the score] was 1-1 in the third. Tyron’s in on a shot, and Johny kept sticking his fingers into Tyron’s mouth. So finally Tyron bites him, which he shouldn’t have done, but when someone’s sticking fingers in your mouth, it’s like, c’mon, so he gave up a point because he bit him, land he lost match 2-1. And it’s like c’mon, is that really how you’re going to lose the Big 12 finals? He was just doing sneaky s– like that all the time.”
No one likes being accused of doing ‘sneaky sh-t’, particularly people who have the nickname “Bigg Rigg.” Then Askren relayed, what according to him, went down at the TUF 19 Finale when he was seated close to the renowned fighter.
“I stopped him, I said Johny, go tell Dana [White] we need to fight,” Askren said. “He was response was ‘Dana who?’ At this point I’m so dumbfounded he said Dana who, I’m like obviously you know who I’m talking about Johny, don’t be a dummy. I just started laughing, before I finished laughing, he walked off. That was our face to face right there, if he said I didn’t say anything to his face that’s a damn lie.”
Dana who? If that’s in fact an accurate account of what transpired, then that is pretty effin hilarious.
While Askren is currently locked up with ONE FC, all this press the undefeated fighter is getting is raising his profile and then some. Not only that, but as I noted in a previous post, it’s coming at a time when Askren is on a serious and impressive roll.
Although Askren has seriously trashed White and the UFC, if the welterweight continues to finish fights, the promotion could certainly benefit from adding him into the mix. Askren is pretty damn good at speaking his mind and self promoting, and whether he’s embraced by fans or not, dudes playing the heel role have a history of moving ratings.
And from a tactical stand-point, who doesn’t want to see how Askren would fare against some of the UFC’s top welterweights? Particularly those with a strong wrestling base?