Ben Askren had more than a few words for Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman (a.k.a. Marty from Nebraska) at UFC Milwaukee over the weekend.
Milwaukee, WI — When Ben Askren arrived in the UFC earlier this year, it was a huge splash. The first trade in MMA history, something even Askren didn’t realize was possible. The UFC got Askren, who was retired. ONE Championship took in Demetrious Johnson. The most decorated champion of all time was traded in exchange for Askren, which tells you something about his value, regardless of past comments from UFC President Dana White.
“The only way I was going to fight again is if was able to fight someone who was ranked in the top five,” Ben Askren admitted back stage at UFC Milwaukee over the weekend. The trade allowed for that. “There was a few other avenues that we were trying to make that happen, and this is the one that worked out.”
“It’s kind of validation of how good I am,” Askren said in regards to the trade that finally brought him to the UFC, after stints as champion in both Bellator and ONE Championship. “They f*cking traded the best, possibly the best fighter of all time. I was going to say the best flyweight, but how many title defenses does he have? Eleven or twelve? Possibly the best UFC champion of all time, and they traded him for me.”
Unfortunately for Askren, his debut in the UFC has been pushed back due to the cancellation of UFC 233. That’s a sore spot for Askren, who admitted that “I was really pissed when it happened, because I was ready. I even volunteered to main event against Robbie in Brooklyn.” No such luck. “Then Robbie said no, so then they had to move Benavidez-Henry for that first ESPN card.” Askren, of course, means Dillashaw-Henry, with Joseph Benavidez serving as the backup fighter.
“So then they were looking for a main event [for UFC 233],” Askren continued. “I volunteered to fight Colby, I volunteered to fight Usman. And they’re so scared, right. Usman is like the ultimate hypocrite. And he’s so dumb, he can’t even put a sentence together. He’s like, ‘I’m not a hypocrite, I said earn your shot.’ Well no no no, that’s exactly why I said you’re a hypocrite, because that’s literally what Colby said to you.”
Askren added that “they pretend they don’t hear me. Despite the fact that they’ve been in the UFC for four, five years, despite the fact that Colby won an interim and Usman’s pushing, their social media following is still minuscule compared to mine. Despite Colby running that stupid-*ss MAGA gimmick, despite Marty from Nebraska trying to act like he’s Kamaru. So they’re just uninteresting people.”
The end result, “I volunteered to fight either of them to save the Anaheim card, and both of them said no. And that’s just what it comes down to.”
Later, Askren gave his pick for who welterweight champ Tyron Woodley should fight next. Askren, of course, is a good friend of the champ. “Tyron wants to fight Colby. And honestly, Colby and Tryon is the one that makes sense,” he suggested. “That’s going to sell better than Marty from Nebraska versus Tryon.” That, of course, is once again a reference to top contender Kamaru Usman. “Marty from Nebraska’s got 30,000 twitter followers. Literally no one knows who he is. He’s acting like he’s this big deal, he doesn’t have a following. People don’t know who he is. You can say ‘I’ve fought 12 times in the UFC’ or whatever— you’re not interesting. People don’t know who you are. The most interesting thing that’s happened to you is me calling you Marty from Nebraska.”
Askren, meanwhile, will have to wait until UFC 235 in March for his debut, which will still come against former champion Robbie Lawler. He left Saturday with a few parting words: “Colby sucks, Marty from Nebraska sucks, I’m out.”
Catch the full press scrum with Ben Askren back stage at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee above!