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Ben Askren says it would be ‘wild’ if he and Dana White ended up friends one day

Ben Askren’s relationship with the UFC president hasn’t changed much since signing with the promotion late last year.

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OneFC Honor & Glory
SINGAPORE - MAY 30: Ben Askren of United States of America celebrates after defeating Bakhtiyar Abbasov of Azerbaijan during OneFC Honor & Glory at Singapore Indoor Stadium on May 30, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

When asked if he and UFC president Dana White will ever be friends, Ben Askren didn’t get his hopes up.

“Wild sh-t happens in the world, but that would be one of the wildest,” Askren told MMA Fighting at UFC 235 media day on Wednesday. “Wouldn’t that be wild?”

Askren, who meets Robbie Lawler on Saturday’s UFC 235 pay-per-view card in Las Vegas, doesn’t have the healthiest relationship with White. Long before the UFC signed Askren late last year, White for years had the belief that Askren hadn’t done enough to deserve a call to the UFC.

Askren met with White in 2013, but White suggested he sign with WSOF before moving to the big leagues of the UFC. This was right after Askren was granted his release from Bellator, where he held the welterweight title. Askren signed with ONE Championship instead and fought for the Asia-based promotion until last year’s trade involving former UFC flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson.

Being on the UFC roster has not changed Askren’s relationship with White, the Roufusport product said.

“He doesn’t want to talk to me,” Askren said of White. “I don’t know what his issue is. No one’s ever explained to me; he’s never explained to me. I don’t know what his problem is.

“I tried to sit down with him (in New York after signing with the UFC) and have a civil conversation, because that’s what I do with people I don’t see eye to eye with. He wouldn’t sit down with me. ... I said, ‘Hey, we gotta work together, let’s sit down and hash it out.’ And he said, ‘We’re good.’”

UFC 235 takes place at T-Mobile Arena and is headlined by Jon Jones vs. Anthony Smith for the light heavyweight title. Askren’s teammate Tyron Woodley defends his welterweight belt against Kamaru Usman in the co-main event.

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