Lately there’s been a lot of buzz about the UFC’s welterweight division, but it doesn’t sound like ONE’s welterweight king, Ben Askren, is on board with this narrative.
In recent months, the likes of Darren Till, Mike Perry and Colby Covington have scored some memorable wins. Of course, the latter’s been making headline after headline in recent weeks, due to controversial statements and his altercation with Fabricio Werdum. In addition, former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre has returned to the UFC, Rafael dos Anjos has been making noise in the division, and he’ll face Robbie Lawler on December 16th.
Well, recently Askren spoke with the International Business Times, and while responding to the notion that the UFC’s 170 division is stacked, the decorated wrestler said this:
“Is it? It’s debatable [whether the welterweight division is stacked]. Mike Perry sucks. Darren Till sucks,”
“Tyron Woodley – he’s beaten Wonderboy twice, he’s beaten Robbie Lawler. Who is going to beat him? I don’t think there’s anyone who can beat him for a while.”
Okay then. That’s one way of looking at it. Now, Askren also proceeded to say that he thinks St-Pierre should return to the welterweight division, but that:
“I think he (St-Pierre) is a little scared [of Woodley’s power], he doesn’t like getting hit, but I think that would be a good fight. I think that’s what should happen.”
Yup. There’s certainly a lot of other people, including Mr. Woodley, who want to see that fight. As it stands right now, it’s not clear year what’s going to be next for GSP. The fighter has said that he’s contractually obligated to defend the 185 title against interim champ Robert Whittaker, but, GSP has also been non-committal, in terms of whether he’s going to remain at middleweight.
The consensus seems to be that if St-Pierre tells the UFC he can’t continue to compete at middleweight, then they’ll likely give him a pass, in an effort to line-up bouts with say Woodley or possibly Conor McGregor.
All this aside, if you missed it, Askren quickly put away Shinya Aoki on Friday at ONE’s latest event. The 18-0 fighter has said the fight will likely be his last. Hopefully, somehow, the 33 year-old finds a way to sign with the UFC, and we get to see him battle the promotion’s top tier welterweights.