After defending his ONE welterweight title in November, Ben Askren announced his retirement. The former Bellator MMA and ONE champion ended his fighting career unbeaten, but left the door open for a return if it's against someone like Georges St-Pierre.
St-Pierre was recently asked about Askren and the former UFC 170-pound champion stated that he considers Askren one of the best welterweights in the world. He also said that he wouldn't fight the 33-year-old because Askren isn't a household name.
Georges St-Pierre: Ben Askren is One of the Best Welterweights in the World
“Ben Askren, I don’t understand why he’s not in UFC, because he’s one of the best welterweights in the world. I think it has to do with maybe a problem that he has with Dana White, but he’s one of the best fighters in the world. And if there’s a guy that in my career, for my legacy, that would have been good to fight, it would have been Ben Askren, because he beat everybody. He beat all the guys in Bellator. He beat all the champions outside of the UFC,” St-Pierre recently said during an appearance on The MMA Hour.
“But unfortunately, I think he had a fallout with Dana and he never had the chance to fight in the UFC. And therefore, his stock never went to the value that it’s supposed to be at.”
Despite St-Pierre thinking Askren's stock never reached its potential value, Askren predicts that he'll face St-Pierre in 2019 and defeat him in Montreal, Canada. His prediction was specific and made with confidence.
Ben Askren: I Will Beat Up GSP
“There’s absolutely momentum here and I have been on record saying that I will go to Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 2019. I will beat up GSP and I will have somewhere around 20,000 Canadians booing me and it will be a fantastic sight to see,” said Askren on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
“Absolutely. Yes,” he said when asked if he believes the fight will happen. “In 2019, I will fight Georges St-Pierre at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It’s going to be sold out, and we’re going to make a lot of money.”
While Askren retired from fighting in November, he's still under contract with ONE Championship, a Singapore-based fight promotion. There are clear obstacles in the way of Askren ever fighting in the UFC outside of his public feud with UFC president Dana White. He admitted that there are hurdles, but Askren doubled down on his prediction.
“All you need to know is that in 2019 I am going to go to Montreal and I am going to fight GSP at the Bell Centre. You don’t need to know all the intricate details of what steps are going to take place to make that happen. You just need to know that I told you that it’s going to happen, and it’s going to happen.”