Since the UFC's announcement of the unusual signing of pro-wrestling superstar, CM Punk, fans and media alike have been trying to make sense of the news. When you consider that there are world class prospects that would represent a much better level of competition, it gets a little more bizarre.
Ben Askren is a name that has been mentioned for years as "the get" for the welterweight division, but has never come to fruition, even after a meeting a little over a year ago between him, Lorenzo Fertitta and a conferenced in Dana White. Since Punk's signing, Askren has been vocal about the sideshow aspect of it.
In a recent interview with Matt Parrino for UFC.com's The Download, Dana White discussed the reaction to Punk's signing and why Askren isn't in the UFC.
"The feedback has been both - it's mixed," began White. "Some people love it, some people hate it. The people who are opposed to it and bitching about it, I get it. Every fight that we do isn't going to be everybody's thing, but there will be people who want to watch him and those that don't."
"He and I have become friends and he told me, ‘I've achieved some cool things in my life and I want to try the UFC. It's not like I'm young enough to fight my way up in the smaller leagues. I'd like to come in and give it a shot and see what I got.'"
As far as Askren goes, White had this to say about the ONE FC welterweight champ:
"The thing is with Ben Askren is that Ben Askren doesn’t really want to fight here, in my opinion," said White. "People that are close to him say the same thing. 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."