Over the recent weeks, retired undefeated welterweight fighter Ben Askren has been vocal about an MMA return, possibly with the UFC. Rightfully, he has been asked by the media about whom he sees could be his likely opponent, if a deal does end up being finalized.
In a recent interview on MMA on Sirius XM, “Funky” was asked what he thought about fighting either Conor McGregor or Nate Diaz, two of the UFC’s “money fighters” today. Askren was not too keen on either matchup, to say the least.
.@Benaskren tells @MieshaTate & @realOCsports that when it comes to a potential matchup with Conor McGregor in the UFC both he and Conor know that it would be a terrible idea for Mystic Mac to accept. pic.twitter.com/UNZDjcOQ0b— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) February 22, 2018
“Nate Diaz sucks. I mean, yeah. [Conor] McGregor is barely the best in the world,” Askren said (transcript via BJPenn.com). “I mean, the guy beat up Nate Diaz barely a couple of times and Nate Diaz himself is a very mediocre UFC fighter. There is no way you can argue that sentiment because all you have to do is look at [Diaz’s] record.”
“The record shows he’s a very middle-of-the-road UFC fighter, he’s a 500 guy,” Askren said of Diaz. “He wins half, he loses half. Sure, he’s had some good wins, but he’s also had some terrible losses.”
If it were up to Askren, he would rather face Georges St-Pierre in Montreal sometime in late 2019. McGregor may be a big draw, but it is not a fight that makes sense for him.
“And you know McGregor, he lands a couple of good punches against Eddie Alvarez,” Askren said. “Is he good? Sure, but I’d like to see him defend his belt, he’s never defended his belt ever. But sure, if McGregor wanted to fight me – I don’t know, is he the best in the world? I guess since he’s got the belt.”
“Sure, if he wanted to come up and fight me, that’d be fine. He knows that’s a terrible idea, I know that’s a terrible idea. He’s not gonna do it. Let’s just stick with the game plan and go with Georges [St-Pierre].”
The 33-year-old Askren retired from MMA competition last November after defeating Shinya Aoki via first-round TKO to retain the ONE Championship welterweight title. He holds a record of 18-0, with one no contest and 11 wins by stoppage.