UFC's first 'transfer' signing Ben Askren is on the verge of having his first fight with the promotion announced as the former ONE champion looks likely to have a debut in January at UFC 233.#
The world's best MMA fighters moving from one promotion to UFC is not exactly new but it's not usually the case that the biggest promotion is involved in a swap deal with another for one of their biggest stars.
For the first time ever just a couple of weeks ago UFC made a trade as former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson went to ONE Championship with Ben Askren making the move in the opposite direction.
The move lead us to daydream about a time when Jim White is suiting up for an MMA transfer window as Sky Sports reporters queue up outside octagons to report on deadline day swaps.
Askren spent little time calling people out, telling the Rudis Wrestling Podcast, "Obviously, my number one and two would be GSP [Georges St-Pierre] and Khabib [Nurmagomedov] but I know there's no way in hell I'm getting either one of those two first round.
"So I'm hoping to get matched up with this Englishman named Darren Till. He just fought for the world title, he's ranked number two. I had a little Twitter fight with him. I think he's significantly overrated. So I would like to fight him."
However it looks like the 34 year old will be getting Robbie Lawler for his debut which will be in January:
Breaking: Ben Askren vs. Robbie Lawler targeted for UFC 233 on Jan. 26 in Anaheim, per Dana White. Contracts are not signed yet from what I'm told, but UFC is working on getting it finalized. Story up soon on @ESPN.- Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 6, 2018
Despite the fact the fight hasn't been confirmed by UFC president Dana White it seems that the former ONE champion has confirmed the news with his own tweet:
Lots of welterweights breathing easy right about now. Don't worry your times will come! https://t.co/8xDJwIC7VZ- Ben Askren (@Benaskren) November 6, 2018
It seems like Askren is ready to make himself the latest big name in the promotion and if his verbals continue in this way then he could easily make himself into a star.
We're looking forward to seeing, and no doubt hearing, more from him soon.