Ben Askren thinks Francis Ngannou has a right to call himself the baddest man on the planet.
After Ngannou officially signed with the PFL this week, he called himself the baddest man on the planet, given he never lost his heavyweight title in the UFC. Yet, Jon Jones – who is the new UFC heavyweight champ – took exception to it, but Ben Askren thinks Jones is being hypocritical by taking exception to it.
“To me, it was simple, and why I thought this was really weird and almost hypocritical. Jon chose to be inactive for three years, he chose not to fight. I don’t care what Jon does,” Askren said on Daniel Cormier’s YouTube channel. “He chose not to fight, three years. Francis is in the UFC for that entire three years and we’ve seen other fighters go up weight classes. ‘Stylebender’ (Israel Adesanya) did it and lost to Jan (Blachowicz) and went back to 185, so we’ve seen other people do it. He had plenty of opportunity to fight Francis Ngannou. Now, Francis Ngannou wants to say he is the baddest man on the planet, I think he should be able to. Now, can Jon argue he is also? Sure. But, Jon can’t say you can’t do it because Jon didn’t fight him for three years.”
Askren says Ngannou can Claim that Title
Although Ben Askren thinks Francis Ngannou has the right to call himself the baddest man on the planet, he believes Jon Jones could also claim he is. But, he thinks if Jones truly wanted that fight, he could have fought him a couple of years ago when Jones was on the sidelines.
“Jon has a good argument with it. But, Francis went out winning six in a row. He beat Curtis Blaydes, Cain, JDS, Rozesnturik, Miocic, and Gane, his last six fights in the UFC,” Askren said. “Of which, Jon was able to be fighting at that time in which he chose not to. That is his choice. I don’t care, but Jon could have any point during the next two or three years could’ve said, Francis I want a piece of you, you are in the UFC, I’m in the UFC, let’s do it right now. And he chose not to. Francis leaves as the champion winning six in a row, I think he can claim that title.”
Whether or not Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou will ever fight one another is uncertain, but Ben Askren thinks both of them can be considered the baddest man on the planet.