It is no secret that Ben Askren did not get along with Dana White during his time in the UFC. However, things appeared to have changed since then. It seems like the two are currently on much friendlier terms, especially since Ben Askren signed on to fight Jake Paul in an eight-round boxing match.
The UFC president has been quite vocal about whose side he is on ahead of the fight. White has even gone ahead and connected Ben Askren with Freddie Roach, arguably one of the best boxing trainers in the combat sports world.
In an interview with James Lynch ahead of the Tiller Fight Club contest, Ben Askren spoke about the development of his relationship with the UFC president.
It turns out, Dana White not only made sure Ben Askren got the best training possible, but he also called him up for a chat, which came as a surprise to ‘Funky’.
“Dana White becoming my friend after all this has been very interesting. I don’t hold grudges… I appreciate his help. He hooked me up with Freddie, who has been great,” said Ben Askren.
“I was getting in the shower one day and Dana called me and I was like, ‘Oh sh*t!’ and he was like, ‘Kick his a**,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh okay, sweet, this is cool, let’s do it.'”
Ben Askren will fight Jake Paul on April 17th under the Triller Fight Club banner at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ben Askren on his relationship with the UFC
During the interview, Ben Askren refused to fuel the rumor that he was treated harshly by the UFC following his loss to Jorge Masvidal. He made it clear that while he was not best friends with Dana White during his time with the promotion, he was not treated unfairly either.
“I would disagree. I would say I was treated fairly. I would not say Dana and I had the best relationship or I wouldn’t say we were close or friendly. I wouldn’t say those things. But I think I was treated adequately.”
Ben Askren also pointed out that whatever went down between him and the UFC back in the day was nothing personal.
“Dollars and cents is what makes sense to the UFC,” Ben Askren said, to explain his point.
The UFC did not see Jorge Masvidal’s rise to fame coming after the 5-second knockout, according to Ben Askren. The wrestler went on to state that the promotion had even expected him to win the fight against Masvidal.