Despite the bad blood between former Bellator and current ONE FC welterweight champion and the UFC, Dana White seems happy to let bygones be bygones. Askren though, predictably, seems willing to carry on with firing shots on social media.
Despite passing up the opportunity to sign Ben Askren when he was arguably the hottest free agent in the sport, when asked at the UFC 177 post-fight media scrum (which can be viewed in it's entirety here) whether 'Funky' could eventually find his way into the UFC, Dana White seemed open to the idea.
MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani pressed him on the matter, saying he found it hard to gauge just where Dana stood on the matter from his tone.
Dana responded as such,
"Listen Ben Askren said a lot of stupid shit (you know) when he left but I don't care about stuff like that.
We'll see how the kid fights...We'll go from there
Dana also commented on whether the insults and criticism Askren has slung the UFC's way dating back to his Bellator days would hold much weight when it comes down to potentially signing the former Olympian.
"Contrary to popular belief, well I do hold grudges if you're a real idiot I'll hold a grudge 'til the day I drop dead. But fighters? I don't really do that with fighters. These guys are built different then everybody. They're tough guys and this is what they do for a living and they're gonna' say stuff like that.
Dana provided an example that would hopefully be a good sign to any fan that is hopeful to one day see Askren, currently undefeated in 14 professional bouts, fighting the best opposition in his division.
If Tito can come back to the UFC, anybody can come in here, believe me. 'Cause there's nobody on Earth I hated worse than Tito.
(You) Don't have to like 'em to do business with 'em.
This bodes well for Askren, as he didn't reach out for the olive branch but instead swatted it away with a typically sarcastic tweet:
Oh thank you master @danawhite can I please have a shot— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) August 31, 2014
Askren is currently two fights into a six-fight contract with ONE FC, the premier mixed martial arts organisation in Asia, and without a get-out clause in his contract from what I'm aware.
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- UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Soto live results, play by play and discussion
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- Dana White lashes out at media for 'disgusting, despicable things' said about UFC 177
- UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Soto full fight video highlights
- UFC 177: Dillashaw vs Soto post-fight press conference