An Open Letter to Ben Askren


Matt Hughes just gave you some great advice. You should take it. Let me explain.

I am an avid MMA fan, not just a casual viewer who only watches UFC events. I believe I have seen most of your fights. You are a very talented athlete and one of the best wrestlers in MMA today. Your dominance in Bellator was a great achievement. I wanted to see you in the UFC when your contract with Bellator expired. With that being said, I wasn’t at all surprised when the UFC didn’t sign you.

The UFC, and specifically Dana White, want exciting fighters that can sell PPV and increase their profit margin, because without profit, their business will fail. So let’s be honest here, Ben. Your fights are not very exciting to most fans. That’s the reason John Fitch, an extremely talented MMA fighter, was cut from the UFC. Fitch didn’t generate excitement with his fighting style (and PPV numbers) and neither do you.

I can understand that this would upset you, especially with the hard work and dedication it takes to get to your level. But you are taking that anger and using it in a way that isn’t going to help your career, and in fact, may hinder it. By reading your Twitter feed, it seems you are trying to take the "Chael Sonnen Approach" to promotion. However, you are missing some major points of that approach.

First of all, Sonnen was already in the UFC and you are not. When Sonnen would call out Silva, it was a fight that the UFC could actually make because they are both under contract with the organization. You are in another organization. Second, the fan base wanted someone to challenge Silva because he was running through everyone. Johny Hendricks has real challengers already in the UFC. Challengers that will stand and bang and deliver an exciting fight and PPV numbers, I might add. Third, Sonnen may have been disrespectful to other fighters to generate interest, but he NEVER badmouthed Dana White. Sonnen was a company man who knew not to bite the hand that feeds him.

So when you insult Hendricks on Twitter and you are not even on the UFC roster, you honestly come off as silly and bitter to the majority of fans. As for insulting Dana White and the UFC, I think that is incredibly foolish. I don’t know Dana White personally, but I don’t think badmouthing him is the way to get in his good graces and gain a UFC contract. I imagine you are creating the opposite effect. With each bald, fat man tweet you are digging a hole that you will never get out of no matter what record you compile in your new organization.

My advice (which really means nothing) is to listen to Matt Hughes (whose advice should mean everything). Shut up, apologize for your poor plan and misinterpretation of the Chael Sonnen Approach, and focus on your game. Show Dana White you belong instead of making an ass of yourself. Otherwise, you are going to face a bunch of shoulda, woulda, coulda’s at some point in your life. But by then, it will be too late…..

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