Welcome to Funky Town.
“Funky” Ben Askren is just hours away from making his highly anticipated UFC debut and he is already making himself a presence. From his hilarious remarks, to the crazy hair, to the flip-flops…. you name it, he’s got it.
In the days leading up to his debut at UFC 235, Askren does not appear nervous. Following todays open workouts, Askren and his teammate, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley took questions from the media and Askren continued to be the same jokester that he’s always been.
He opened the media scrum by telling Woodley about his interview yesterday in which he blocked Woodley opponent Kamaru Usman out of the picture.
“Yesterday they had me doing a Skype with CBS Sports and they had me standing here, but I moved over here so nobody could see him,” Askren joked.
Immediately following his witty remark, Askren rapped for everyone. Following the rap the laughs continue to roll in, like when he noticed ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani in the crowd.
“Oh my God! Guys Ariel Helwani showed to this, so this must be a pretty big deal,” Askren said with a big smile.
All joking aside there was some serious talk mixed in. Askren was asked about if money or a championship was his motivated. Turns out its neither. The guy is just looking to fight.
“There’s so many welterweights I want to fight,” said Askren. “Just go down the list, there is so many. I’m in no hurry.”
Askren claims he’s in no hurry to claim UFC gold, which would be his third world title, holding championships in ONE Championship and Bellator. However, he still mentioned the idea of winning a title in a 165-pound division that currently does not exists.
“Dana [UFC President Dana White] here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to make 165 and 175 right now,” said Askren. “He’s going to 175 and I’m 165, and give us those damn belts.”
That remarked even drew a joke out of Woodley.
“Yeah I ain’t going to 165, I can tell you that right now,” said the welterweight champ. “That made me throw up just thinking about.”
While Askren makes everyone laughs outside the cage, he is tough when he steps foot inside one. He is currently 18-0 as a professional fighter. Prior to his fighting career he was a stand out wrestler claiming two national titles and two national runner-ups at Missouri. Following his college career he wrestled in the 2008 Olympics.
Askren is set to be the third fight on the UFC 235 pay per view. The card will be headlined by a light heavyweight championship fight between Jon Jones and Anthony Smith, with Woodley and Usman serving as the co main event.