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Morning Report: Ben Askren, Rory MacDonald get heated in exchange about potential Bellator matchup

ONE Championship

Last fall, Ben Askren chose to retire from MMA after successfully defending his ONE FC welterweight title against Shinya Aoki. But for a man who is retired, Askren sure is trying to pick fights with just about everybody in the welterweight division.

When Askren retired, he said it was because he wanted to get out of the game before he started dropping off and that he would only return to the sport for a fight with Georges St-Pierre or whoever was considered to be the top welterweight in the world. But with neither of those forthcoming, that queue has opened up even further to include UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, and now it appears that Askren is willing to amend “best welterweight in the world” to “any welterweight champion.” On Wednesday, Askren engaged in a war of words on Twitter with Bellator welterweight title holder Rory MacDonald, saying that he would stop “The Red King” in the third round if they fought and imploring MacDonald to make it happen.

For his part, MacDonald seemed to be into the idea and so did Bellator MMA.

MacDonald suggesting to the promoter who holds his contract that he should make a fight with Askren, a free agent, was not enough for “Funky” though who quickly spun it so that MacDonald was attempting to duck him by blaming Bellator CEO Scott Coker. That opened up a back-and-forth between the two with Askren talking trash and MacDonald basically saying, “come sign the contract.”

MacDonald is the reigning Bellator welterweight champion, claiming the belt with a unanimous decision win over Douglas Lima at Bellator 192 in January. Askren is the former Bellator welterweight champion who was released from the organization after defending his title four times, the record for Bellator title defenses. A fight between the two would instantly be one of the biggest bouts in Bellator history.


TUF. The Ultimate Fighter 27, Episode 1 results: John Gunther vs. Joe Giannetti.

Clean. Mirko Cro Cop passes out-of-competition drug test ahead of Bellator 200.

Ratings gold. Daniel Cormier says he and Stipe Miocic take ‘back seat’ to fighters on TUF 27.

Worse. Mike Jackson says UFC 225 will go worse for CM Punk than Mickey Gall fight.

Changes. Gabi Garcia hoping to turn things around after ‘bad’ 2017.


Kevin Lee and Cub on UFC Tonight.

One of the best series going on right now.

Poirier says he’s coming for Khabib.

Darren Till interview.

Conor in court.


Heavy Hands. Discussing Poirier-Gaethje and previewing Barboza-Lee.

The MMA Circus. Recapping UFC Glendale and looking ahead to UFC Atlantic City.


Askren also had words for Nordine Taleb. All the people he would almost maybe one day fight are really adding up.

Cody just keeps walking into Ls.

It’s important to have a gimmick.

Staying after it.

Ready for a quick turnaround.

Izzy does not seemed concerned about fight Brad.

That sounds serious.

“I am different from everyone, said the man using a cliche.”

Zabit sticking around.

No chance Tito stays retired.

Healing seems to be going well for Tony.

Brad Pickett’s nose really is something.



Mehdi Baghdad (10-5) vs. Pawel Kielek (8-4-1); Brave Combat Federation, May 11.

David Teymur (7-1) vs. Don Madge (7-3-1); UFC Liverpool, May 27.

Clay Guida (34-17) vs. Bobby Green (24-8-1); UFC 225, June 9.

Islam Makhachev (15-1) vs. Kajan Johnson (23-11-1); UFC Calgary, July 28.

Hakeem Dawodu (7-1-1) vs. Austin Arnett (15-4); UFC Calgary, July 28.


2008: Georges St-Pierre reclaimed the UFC welterweight title and began his legendary run through the 170 pound division by avenging his loss to Matt Serra, stopping the champion with knees to the body at UFC 83. This event also featured the UFC debut of Cain Velasquez (who stopped Brad Morris in the first round) and played host to the infamous fight between Nate Quarry and Kalib Starnes where Starnes literally ran away for long stretches of the fight.

2014: Fabricio Werdum won a unanimous decision over Travis Browne at UFC on FOX 11 to establish himself as the number one contender in the heavyweight division.


Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.



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