Ben Askren was successful in his Octagon debut at UFC 235 on Saturday with a controversial win over Robbie Lawler. But according to the undefeated welterweight, it was a victory that did not sit well with UFC president Dana White.
Speaking on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show on Monday, Askren says his relationship with White never really improved since they began beefing years back, and defeating Lawler seemingly soured things further.
“Listen, I don’t know what this guy has against me, but he obviously had something against me in 2013 and it’s pretty obvious, even though he tries to say he doesn’t, he does now,” Askren said (transcript by MMA Mania). “His body language and actions speak one way, even though his words speak another. His disdain for me after the fight Saturday night was so palpable you could almost touch it.
“I don’t know what his problem is, I really don’t. I have tried multiple times now to sit down with him and have reasonable conversations with him to ask what his issue with me is, and he won’t even sit down with me.”
“Listen, I’m sorry that Dana’s guy didn’t win, and he’s pouting about it right now and he wants to run it back, but we’re just not going to do that,” he added.
Askren further argued his point about why a rematch against Lawler does not make sense for him.
“How does that benefit me? If I beat him again, I’m not really in a better spot than I am right now,” he said. “I’m in a spot right now where I can have a whole bunch of new fights. Me and Colby, you can put me and (Darren) Till together, it will be a huge fight. So why do I want to go take a fight, that I already won fairly and squarely?”
If it were up to him, Askren would instead face the winner of the upcoming fight between Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal, which takes place on March 16th at the O2 Arena in London.