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After UFC president Dana White publicly noted that he intended to pass on Askren after the undefeated champion was cut loose by Bellator, the fighter’s intent to sign with Asia’s largest fight promotion was one of the worst kept secrets in sport.
Evolve MMA, one of the premier fight teams in Asia, announced recently that Askren had joined the team. Evolve MMA owner Chatri Sityodtong said he was honored to welcome Askren to the Evolve MMA Fight Team.
“I believe that Ben is one of the best welterweights in the world and it is a fantastic opportunity for our existing fighters on the Evolve Fight Team to learn from Ben, and for Ben to train under the most decorated team of world champion instructors in the world,” said Sityodtong. “Duke Roufus is one of the world’s best MMA coaches and we will be working together to unlock Ben Askren’s potential. Evolve MMA will be another critical resource in Ben’s quest to become the best in the world.”
Evolve MMA has been one of the major suppliers of talent to One FC, so when White passed on Askren and then Askren subsequently passed on an off from World Series of Fighting, the math became rudimentary.
Aside from being the outgoing Bellator welterweight champion, Askren is a two-time NCAA Division One champion, who also won a gold medal at the grappling world championships in 2009. With his 12-0 record, he is universally recognized as being one of the top welterweights in the world.