Ben Askren has clapped back on lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov after he dismissed a future fight with the UFC newcomer.
The former ONE FC and Bellator undefeated welterweight champion has called out plenty of fighters at the Ultimate Fighting Championship including Khabib following a historic trade, which saw ONE Fighting Championship sending him to the UFC in exchange of flyweight ‘GOAT’ Demetrious Johnson.
The Dagestani blasted Askren for his antics, implying that he should be careful with his words as he has yet to fight in the UFC cage. Now “Funky” has a message for the lightweight champ.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 27, 2019
Ben Askren was traded to UFC late last year for Demetrious Johnson amid speculations that the promotion’s flyweight class will be shut down in 2019. With an impressive resume being a former champion at ONE FC and Bellator MMA, expectations are sky high for the 34-year old mixed martial artist.
Since getting traded to the UFC, “Funky” has been making his presence felt by calling out almost the entire roster in his division and other fighters including Khabib Nurmagomedov. But the Nevada-based promotion booked him for UFC 233 against current champion Robbie Lawler.
The title fight was moved to UFC 235 after the promotion decided to cancel UFC 233. Askren will have the chance to become the first fighter to capture the welterweight championship in three different promotions this March 2 in the main card of the already stacked UFC 235. But can he live up to the hype?
Who’s your pick for Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren? pic.twitter.com/10oaRlWOt8
— Kiiyon Kimura (@kiiyonkimura) November 7, 2018
A Big Bothering
Ahead of his highly-anticipated UFC debut, Askren was told to “show his levels” by no less than the UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov after he called out fighters on social media recently.
“The Eagle” is currently in Australia for the second leg of his promotional tour. In an interview with Submission Radio, dismissed a potential fight with Askren and said that he has to show his levels first at UFC.
“He never fight in the UFC. He has to fight in the UFC first of all. He has to show his levels, because I see how someone smash him in ONE FC. Somebody like smashed him in ONE FC. He just signed to the UFC and tried talk, you know. But now everybody tries to talk and promote these things, but you have to compete in the UFC, then we’re gonna see his levels.”
It did not take long for Askren to respond on Khabib’s latest tirade. Taking to Twitter, “Funky” challenges the undefeated lightweight to a fight at 165-lb this year and vows to show him his levels.
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) January 26, 2019
The UFC has yet to book the Russian champ for his next fight as he awaits NSAC’s final verdict on his involvement at the infamous UFC 229 post-fight brawl.
Khabib is known as the best grappler in UFC while Askren has also a great ground game being a former Olympic wrestler. Khabib vs Askren would be an intriguing match-up but will the UFC book them for a future fight?
(Featured Image Source: YouTube/MMA Fighting and Instagram/Khabib)