UFC president Dana White and undefeated welterweight Ben Askren have been at odds over the last few years. According to Askren, he was never signed into the UFC because of a 2012 Twitter spat where he criticized the company executive for not having random drug testing at the time.
Thing seemed to have taken a turn for the better, at least on the side of White. During his recent guesting on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, he says he is now more open to sign the “Funky” one.
“Ben Askren hit me up a few months ago and said ‘what are the odds that we can talk about me getting into the UFC?’ White said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “And I said we can absolutely talk about it.”
That change of heart, however, comes with one condition.
“And we, I had him, I said you need to send me a letter, before I even talk with you or meet with you or do anything, I need a letter saying you’re a free agent and you’re able to whatever,” White said. “And he’s not a free agent. He’s not a free agent, he’s under contract with One FC and he’s going to have to go fulfill his contract with them before I would even meet with him or talk to him.”
The 33-year-old Askren (18-0, with 11 wins by stoppage), last fought in November 2017, where he successfully defended his ONE Championship welterweight title against Shinya Aoki via first-round TKO. The said contest also served as his retirement fight, but he remains to be listed as the promotion’s welterweight champion. Earlier in the year, Askren was trying to drum up a fight with former UFC two-division champion Georges St-Pierre.