Ben Askren Has Interesting Prediction For Possible Fight With Georges St-Pierre

Former ONE Champion Ben Askren is targeting a potential big fight against former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre. Askren called it a career after his fight against longtime mixed martial artist Shinya Aoki, who is best known for his lightweight run and has even competed at featherweight, back in November. Around the time of his […]

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Former ONE Champion Ben Askren is targeting a potential big fight against former UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre.

Askren called it a career after his fight against longtime mixed martial artist Shinya Aoki, who is best known for his lightweight run and has even competed at featherweight, back in November.

Around the time of his retirement, Askren went on record by stating that the only other fight that would bring him out of retirement would be against current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, whom Askren trains with at Roufusport in Milwaukee.

Askren made it known that wanted to retire at the right time. The reason for that is so he can avoid long-term injuries and damage are suffered.

Askren already feels out of his physical prime. Thus, now is a perfect time to step away.

The second reason for his decision to retire is that fighting has taken a lot of time to coach other fighters and people and to spend time with his family away from Askren.

However, that has all changed as he has his sights set on a fight with GSP.

“My main motivation is to prove I’m No. 1 in the world,” Askren recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “I think it will happen, at the Bell Centre (in Montreal). Me vs. ‘GSP,’ probably somewhere in late 2019. … I don’t need to make any more money from fighting, and there’s only one thing left to prove. I’ve been No. 1 for the past five years, and I’ve unfortunately never had the chance to prove that fight. It’s the one thing that interests me.”

Keep in mind that Askren has never fought under the UFC banner due to his hostile relationship with company president Dana White.

It should be noted that the odds of this fight actually happening are slim as the promotion would have to sign him and GSP would need to be medically cleared as well as want to take this fight for it all to come together.

“(My first UFC negotiation) was so dirty, it left such a bad taste in my mouth,” Askren said. “I already didn’t want to talk to Dana. I don’t trust a damn word that comes out of his mouth.

I don’t trust a word. It’s like, why did I never pursue that again? Well, it’s because the first time I got screwed over – it was just about as dirty a deal as anyone could give you. I don’t want to have that discussion again. I don’t trust them one bit.”

“I’m 33, and I’ve taken very good care of my body,” Askren said. “I’ve never taken PEDs, so there’s no ill affects from that. I’ve never had a very major injury since college, and that was my neck, and it’s been over a decade, so I’m fine there.

I’m very healthy. I’m planning on staying in good shape – not fighting shape. But I don’t see myself as being one of those guys that’s going to age very quickly.”

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UFC 221 Shows Rough State Of The UFC In 2018

Tonight (Sat., February 10, 2018), the UFC will trudge forward with its packed early 2018 schedule, this time offering UFC 221 live on pay-per-view from Perth, Australia. It’s an event that has been largely derided by the majority of MMA media as one of the lesser pay-per-view cards the promotion has put on for some time, […]

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Tonight (Sat., February 10, 2018), the UFC will trudge forward with its packed early 2018 schedule, this time offering UFC 221 live on pay-per-view from Perth, Australia.

It’s an event that has been largely derided by the majority of MMA media as one of the lesser pay-per-view cards the promotion has put on for some time, and indeed, the card has dubious potential to join the list of the worst pay-per-view cards of all-time, at least on paper.

That’s not to say that the Australian fighters on the card won’t show up and put on a night of exciting bouts for the home crowd; they most certainly could and assuming otherwise would be foolish and disrespectful to the athletes who have worked so hard to get where they are in the sport.

And it certainly didn’t help that the main event saw a late-notice change of the worst form when middleweight champion and nearby fan favorite Robert Whittaker was forced from his main event bout with Luke Rockhold thanks to a host of frightening injuries, a fact that was only dampened by Romero missing weight and being unable to contend for the interim title. But overall, the fact that the UFC was even in that position due to the overall shallowness of this card just shows the tough state the promotion is in during 2018.

Attempting to put on an event every single weekend with little to no name value and maybe even less promotion or time to promote it is only helping their FOX TV schedule, and it shows just how much the promotion has simply spread itself thin under new owners Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG).

As many in the media such as MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas have noted during the week leading up to UFC 222, they don’t have the roster depth to keep up this breakneck pace and maintain interest. And Deadspin’s Patrick Wyman succinctly dissected that their insistence on believing the product will sell just because it has the UFC brand attached to it is a foolhardy assumption.

Neither is sustainable for long-term success in the fight game, and it would seem Endeavor is rushing head-first into booking the biggest spectacles they can without much concern for the consequences soon to arise.

Making Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather in the octagon is a perfect example of this cash-grab-and-go strategy, as is making Tyron Woodley vs. Nate Diaz in a farcical welterweight title bout. Last-minutes changes, weight misses, and injuries ruining main events are unpredictable sets of circumstances that certainly don’t help, but the UFC’s seeming insistence on making both FOX-aired and pay-per-view cards as shallow and uninspiring as possible is why offerings like tonight’s cannot recover from losing a huge bout.

It was most likely happening for years if we’re honest – but the outright deluge of viewers and fans brought in by crossover stars Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey truly masked the clear evidence that this plan was not working. With their million buy-ability now gone, nearly every metric measuring the UFC’s success or lack thereof proves it is not – pay-per-view buys are way down, and big FOX ratings have hit an all-time low.

With a new TV deal on the horizon, that’s the worst news Endeavor could hear, so they appear ready to pull out the stops and book the most ‘superfights’ they can in order to drum up interest. They’re major players in Hollywood, so that’s no surprise. It might even work in the short term as it drums up some mainstream attention (‘might’ is the key word there, though).

If it actually gets a major network to pay the reported outlandish figure the UFC is asking is a different story altogether, however, and with figures falling to atrocious levels as the UFC is no longer a special event with watered-down events every weekend, it may turn out they can’t.

What’s clear is that something has to change, however, as tonight’s Rockhold vs. Romero main event is a great fight to be certain, but also one that had been repeatedly discussed for a FOX or Fight Night event, and now the UFC is forcing fans to pay $65 to watch it without any real meat on the undercard to boot.

That fact proves just how out of touch the UFC is with their fans right now, and they’re quickly losing the full backing of many fighters due to low pay and mounting issues over treatment. Something has to change, and it’s unclear when or if anything ever will.

If the new owners (who aren’t so new anymore) want the numbers to pick up in any or all facets of measurable success, they’re going to have to adapt, and serving up a pay-per-view like tonight’s is the exact opposite of doing just that.

Maybe they have something up their sleeve, and it will most likely involve the return of McGregor. A return to the previous glory days of the UFC could be rapidly moving out of reach for the world’s biggest MMA promoters, however, and their insistence to badly water down the schedule while assuming the fanbase would blindly follow the UFC brand are two major reasons why.

Do you envision a bounceback from the UFC this year, or are they digging themselves into an even bigger hole?

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Tyron Woodley Wants To Punch Dana White In The Face

Recently UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has been in a public war of words with UFC president Dana White. While it’s far from the first time we’ve seen a similar scene unfold, this time, the drama centers on White calling Woodley ‘full of s**t’ when he revealed he had been offered a title fight versus […]

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Recently UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has been in a public war of words with UFC president Dana White.

While it’s far from the first time we’ve seen a similar scene unfold, this time, the drama centers on White calling Woodley ‘full of s**t’ when he revealed he had been offered a title fight versus supposedly returning fan favorite Nate Diaz.

‘The Chosen One’ wants to clear the situation, so he addressed it on his ‘Hollywood Beatdown’ segment on TMZ Sports, clarifying that he didn’t say he had received a contract to face Diaz yet, just that the fight had been discussed in December and once again now:

“I don’t want people to think that I’m full of sh*t, as my boss said. And that I’m making this sh*t up. That a fight with me and Nate was never talked about in December and has never been brought up since then — that is bullshit. It has. Did I get a contract to fight Nate? No, I did not. So, if I’m not thinking about the highest prize as a prizefighter, I am a complete idiot. I should suicide slap myself.”

The discussion stemmed from an interview with ESPN where Woodley stated he thought Diaz would be his next fight, eliciting the harsh reaction from White. But Woodley said he was merely stating his thoughts, and never claimed anything resembling an official agreement had been made – just initial opening negotiations. From there, the champ said, things got a little blown out of proportion:

“I’m entitled to think whatever the hell I want to thin. I didn’t say, ‘Hey, the UFC has a bout agreement, we’re in the process of negotiations, Dana White called me and offered me the fight.’ So everyone took that and they ran through the roof with their perception of what that meant.”

Finally, Woodley said in a somewhat joking segment that he wanted to punch White in the face and wasn’t the only fighter in the UFC who wanted to sock the brash frontman:

“Let’s punch Dana White in the face. I know so many fighters on the UFC roster may have been wanting to do this for a long time.

“You gotta get these hands. Can’t hide behind the black suit and the promotion anymore. You gotta get this right hand.”

Woodley’s clash with White is only the latest in an ever-growing, never-ending list of fighters who have an issue with the longtime president under new owners Endeavor.

With each passing event, White seems to be throwing more fighters under the bus, a baffling instance of counterproductivity considering he’s trashing the athletes who he’s supposed to be promoting and also the athletes responsible for aiding Endeavor in making back their $4.2 billion investment.

Fighter morale seems to be at an all-time low in the UFC as of right now, and Woodley is one of the biggest-name fighters to make his discontent public, although he’s far from the only one. Will White continue to stand in his own – and Endeavor’s – way?

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Robert Whittaker Addresses Not Fighting Georges St-Pierre For Middleweight Title

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has sounded off on Georges St-Pierre not fighting him. St-Pierre returned to competition in November after four years away from the sport to win the middleweight title with a submission victory in the third ro…

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has sounded off on Georges St-Pierre not fighting him. St-Pierre returned to competition in November after four years away from the sport to win the middleweight title with a submission victory in the third round over Michael Bisping at UFC 217. The win made St-Pierre just the fourth fighter in […]

UFC Rankings Update: Ronda Rousey Stays Put Despite Move To WWE

After an extremely quiet event last weekend in UFC on FOX 27, which brought in the lowest television numbers ever for the series, the focus of the activity for this week’s official UFC rankings is actually on two fighters who may never fight in the UFC again. Former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre was […]

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After an extremely quiet event last weekend in UFC on FOX 27, which brought in the lowest television numbers ever for the series, the focus of the activity for this week’s official UFC rankings is actually on two fighters who may never fight in the UFC again.

Former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre was finally removed from the 185-pound rankings after vacating the belt roughly a month after winning it from Michael Bisping at November’s UFC 217. The MMA great cited a bout with colitis as a result of the increased diet needed to move up to middleweight, and with his coaches claiming he might take two more years off or even retire, his status in the UFC remains tenuous.

‘Rush’ stayed but also dropped on the pound-for-pound rankings, coming in at No. 6 after falling three spots.

One storied champion who didn’t fall out the rankings even though there wasfor more reason for her to was former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Rousey made her debut appearance with pro-wrestling giant WWE at their Royal Rumble pay-per-view event last Sunday, noting afterward that ‘was her life’ for the next several years.

But even though she’s now competing in sports entertainment and have given absolutely no indication she would ever return after two consecutive knockout losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, Rousey somehow stayed pat on the women’s bantamweight rankings at No. 9.

Perhaps it’s wishful thinking.

Anyway, here are the fully updated rankings via UFC.com:

POUND-FOR-POUND
1 Demetrious Johnson
2 Conor McGregor
3 Daniel Cormier +1
4 Stipe Miocic +2
4 Max Holloway
6 Georges St-Pierre -3
7 TJ Dillashaw
8 Tyron Woodley
9 Cris Cyborg
10 Tony Ferguson
11 Cody Garbrandt
12 Robert Whittaker
13 Amanda Nunes
14 Khabib Nurmagomedov
15 Joanna Jedrzejczyk

FLYWEIGHT
Champion: Demetrious Johnson
1 Joseph Benavidez
2 Henry Cejudo
3 Ray Borg
4 Jussier Formiga
5 Sergio Pettis
6 Wilson Reis
7 Brandon Moreno
8 Ben Nguyen
9 Dustin Ortiz
10 John Moraga
11 Matheus Nicolau
12 Tim Elliott -1
13 Alexandre Pantoja
14 Deiveson Figueiredo
15 Magomed Bibulatov

BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: TJ Dillashaw
1 Cody Garbrandt
2 Dominick Cruz
3 Raphael Assuncao
4 Jimmie Rivera
5 Marlon Moraes
6 John Lineker
7 Bryan Caraway
8 John Dodson
9 Aljamain Sterling
10 Pedro Munhoz
11 Rob Font
12 Thomas Almeida
13 Eddie Wineland
14 Brett Johns
15 Matthew Lopez

FEATHERWEIGHT
Champion: Max Holloway
1 Jose Aldo
2 Frankie Edgar
3 Brian Ortega
4 Josh Emmett
5 Cub Swanson
6 Ricardo Lamas
7 Chan Sung Jung
8 Jeremy Stephens
9 Darren Elkins
10 Yair Rodriguez
11 Renato Moicano
12 Mirsad Bektic +3
13 Dooho Choi
14 Myles Jury
15 Calvin Kattar *NR

LIGHTWEIGHT
Champion: Conor McGregor
1 Tony Ferguson (Interim Champion)
2 Khabib Nurmagomedov
3 Eddie Alvarez
4 Edson Barboza
5 Dustin Poirier
6 Justin Gaethje
7 Kevin Lee
8 Nate Diaz
9 Michael Chiesa
10 Al Iaquinta
11 Beneil Dariush
12 James Vick
13 Anthony Pettis
14 Francisco Trinaldo -1
15 Evan Dunham

WELTERWEIGHT
Champion: Tyron Woodley
1 Stephen Thompson
2 Rafael Dos Anjos
3 Colby Covington
4 Robbie Lawler
5 Demian Maia
6 Jorge Masvidal
7 Darren Till
8 Neil Magny
9 Kamaru Usman
10 Santiago Ponzinibbio
11 Donald Cerrone
12 Carlos Condit
13 Gunnar Nelson
14 Dong Hyun Kim
15 Yancy Medeiros

MIDDLEWEIGHT
Champion: Robert Whittaker
1 Yoel Romero
2 Luke Rockhold
3 Jacare Souza
4 Chris Weidman +1
5 Kelvin Gastelum +1
6 Michael Bisping +1
7 Derek Brunson +1
8 David Branch +1
9 Uriah Hall +1
10 Vitor Belfort +1
11 Brad Tavares +4
12 Krzysztof Jotko
13 Lyoto Machida +1
14 Paulo Costa -1
15 Thiago Santos *NR

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Daniel Cormier
1 Alexander Gustafsson
2 Glover Teixeira
2 Volkan Oezdemir
4 Jimi Manuwa
5 Ovince Saint Preux
6 Mauricio Rua
7 Misha Cirkunov
8 Ilir Latifi
8 Corey Anderson
10 Patrick Cummins
11 Jan Blachowicz
12 Gadzhimurad Antigulov
13 Tyson Pedro
14 Gian Villante
15 Jared Cannonier

HEAVYWEIGHT
Champion: Stipe Miocic
1 Francis Ngannou
2 Alistair Overeem
3 Fabricio Werdum
4 Cain Velasquez
5 Mark Hunt
6 Derrick Lewis
7 Alexander Volkov
8 Marcin Tybura
9 Curtis Blaydes
10 Stefan Struve
11 Aleksei Oleinik
12 Andrei Arlovski
13 Junior Albini
14 Travis Browne
15 Tim Johnson

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT
Champion: Rose Namajunas
1 Joanna Jedrzejczyk
2 Jessica Andrade
3 Claudia Gadelha
4 Karolina Kowalkiewicz
5 Tecia Torres
6 Carla Esparza
7 Michelle Waterson
8 Felice Herrig +1
9 Cynthia Calvillo -1
10 Alexa Grasso
11 Randa Markos
12 Cortney Casey
13 Joanne Calderwood
14 Maryna Moroz
15 Tatiana Suarez

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT
Champion: Nicco Montano
1 Sijara Eubanks
2 Lauren Murphy
3 Alexis Davis
4 Roxanne Modafferi
5 Barb Honchak
6 Liz Carmouche
7 Katlyn Chookagian *NR
8 Jessica-Rose Clark -1
9 Jessica Eye +1
10 Montana De La Rosa -2
11 Mara Romero Borella -2
12 Rachael Ostovich -1
13 Paige VanZant -1
14 Shana Dobson -1
15 Gillian Robertson -1

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT
Champion: Amanda Nunes
1 Valentina Shevchenko
2 Holly Holm
3 Julianna Pena
4 Raquel Pennington
5 Germaine de Randamie
6 Ketlen Vieira
7 Cat Zingano
8 Sara McMann
9 Ronda Rousey
10 Marion Reneau
11 Leslie Smith +1
12 Bethe Correia +1
13 Aspen Ladd +2
14 Sarah Moras
15 Irene Aldana *NR

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Firas Zahabi on GSP: ‘I Think He’s Out For at Least a Year or Two’

Georges St-Pierre’s longtime coach Firas Zahabi believes his fighter will be out at the minimum of one or two years. St-Pierre last competed in November. He challenged Michael Bisping for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titl…

Georges St-Pierre’s longtime coach Firas Zahabi believes his fighter will be out at the minimum of one or two years. St-Pierre last competed in November. He challenged Michael Bisping for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title. St-Pierre submitted Bisping to become the new 185-pound kingpin. One month later, he vacated the title citing issues […]