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Morning Report: Ben Askren wants Darren Till in London for his UFC debut

Ben Askren One Championship

Last week, the UFC made headlines by completing the first ever trade between major MMA promotions when they released former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson in exchange for ONE Championship’s Ben Askren. Askren has long been considered one of the best fighters to have never stepped inside the octagon and once the news broke, Askren started calling out seemingly everyone in the UFC. Now though, he’s ready to focus his attention on one man.

Speaking on the Rudis Wrestling podcast that he co-hosts, Askren addressed his move over to the UFC and even mentioned who he’d like to face first, former welterweight title challenger Darren Till.

“Obviously, my number one and two would be GSP [Georges St-Pierre] and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] but I know there’s no way in hell I’m getting either one of those two first round,” Askren said. “So I’m hoping to get matched up with this Englishman named Darren Till. He just fought for the world title, he’s ranked number two. I had a little Twitter fight with him. I think he’s significantly overrated. So I would like to fight him.”

Askren has had an enormously successful career outside of the UFC. A four-time NCAA Division I wrestling finalist, including two national championships, Askren went on to compete in the 2008 Olympic games, finishing sixth. After the Olympics, Askren transitioned to MMA where he has amassed an 18-0 and 1 NC record, including winning the Bellator ONE Championship welterweight titles. With his teammate and training partner Tyron Woodley currently holding the UFC welterweight belt, Askren will have to hold off on making a push for a third title, so instead he’d like to fight the man Woodley just obliterated at UFC 228, and he’s willing to go into enemy territory to do it.

“I’m willing to go to London to fight him, so we will see what happens with that,” Askren said.

It shouldn’t take too much convincing. Till and Askren have been going back and forth on Twitter since the trade was announced, and Till seems more than willing to oblige him.

Askren is heading to New York this weekend to speak with the UFC brass about setting up his first fight, so we could see Askren-Till before the end of the year, if both parties can come to terms.


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Darren Till is the perfect opponent for Askren’s first UFC fight. Good fighter with weaknesses that play into Askren’s strength. Would be an excellent bellwether for Askren’s UFC tenure and a win puts him in immediate title contention should Woodley want to move up to 185. I hope the UFC does this one.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow!



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