UFC president Dana White turned heads in Sacramento on Saturday night by declaring he wouldn't mind seeing Ben Askren in the UFC some day.
Checking in from the other side of the world, Askren is less than impressed.
"I have a hard time with how Dana White treats people," Askren said.
Askren fought in Dubai over the weekend, where he finished Nobutatsu Suzuki in 1:24 to become the OneFC welterweight champion. That raised the former Bellator champ's record to 14-0.
He's fighting in OneFC in large part because both the UFC and Bellator spurned him when he became a free agent last year. But with his stock rising, Asken went on The MMA Hour and proclaimed he's in no rush to head to the UFC any time soon, regardless of whether the company's president is changing his tune.
"It's kind of like all of us had that time in high school when we were bullied by the cool group of kids," Askren said. "Then we did something, then the cool group said ‘oh my god, can you be part of our group?' Then some of us who didn't have low self esteem said 'well, you didn't want me the first time, I'm alright.' Then some other people, they run, ‘the cool kids want to hang out with me? Yes, please.' I think it's kind of one of those things."
As an example of what Askren doesn't like about White's demeanor, he used the public shaming of Renan Barao after having to drop out of his fight with T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 177.
"Even last weekend, Barao, did he make a misake? Yeah, he blew it," said Askren. "He freakin' blew it, big time. He probably shouldn't be at 135 pounds. But the way Dana just threw him under the bus like he was a piece of garbage. Where was some human decency there? I think we've seen it time after time with Dana. And so I think at the end of the day he cares about his bottom line a lot and he doesn't care enough about the athletes."
About those athletes: Askren, whom White said wasn't good enough to compete in the UFC during Askren's free agency period, clearly isn't all that impressed with the UFC's talent pool.
"Him saying I'm not good enough for the UFC? I've got more skills in my pinky finger than half the damn guys in the UFC," Askren said. "Have you seen some of these guys fighting lately? It's ridiculous. Having the letters UFC behind my name is not the be-all, end-all it is for someone. Some people think once they get into the UFC, that's it. I think with having more large organizations in the word, it's going to be great for the fighters, because the right now the fighters are being underpaid greatly, in my opinion, and I was one who was able to step outside that box and go find a great paycheck somewhere else."
Later, Askren added "The UFC has greatly expanded their schedule and they gotta they have to provide their talent for all these cards they have going on. You know and I know, even UFC 177, which was a numbered UFC, provided some pretty damn bad talent."
Saturday, White termed much of Askren's talk during their beef as "stupid s--," but Askren feel recent developments have backed up his own words.
"Obviously, you know, he says I said a lot stupid s--," Askren said. "I said true s--. If we go all the way back to the start, Ariel, when I made the comment that he was telling lies about the drug testing issue, all I said was, it can't be done, it is done at the Olympic level. And now we're seeing in 2014, they're actually taking those measures to do what I said in 2012, they're doing in 2014, and they're getting done because they realize how rampant performance enhancing drugs are in our sport."
Still, just like White used the fact he was able to do business with nemesis, Tito Ortiz, as an example that he could do business with anyone, Askren likewise isn't entirely slamming the door on fighting in the UFC some day. "I'm not going to grovel," Askren said. "I'm not going to be a kiss-up. I think he started with the personal attacks before I did. ... If he wanted to meet face to face and talk, we could settle the beef, I'd be open to that."
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