Duke Roufus Thinks Askren Would Be UFC Champ If Contract Was Offered On Time

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Image: @benaskren Instagram

Ben Askren’s Coach Duke Roufus Thinks “Funky” Could Have Been Triple Champ

Ben Askren was Bellator and ONE FC champion, but he hasn’t reached far in the world of UFC. After bulldog choke victory over Robbie Lawler at UFC 235, he was brutally stopped via flying knee by Jorge Masvidal and outworked by Demian Maia, which led to his retirement.

“Funky” signed the UFC contract as an undefeated fighter, which makes his 1-2 UFC score even weirder.

But could Ben Askren win the belt if he kicked off his UFC voyage a few years earlier? His coach Duke Roufus thinks the answer is yes.

“He would be champion,” Roufus told MMA Fighting. “He’d be the triple champ. ONE, Bellator, and UFC. I believe that. Unfortunately, circumstances and timing don’t work out. I’ve seen him do some special stuff in the cage and in practice ever since I met Ben, it’s just sometimes timing doesn’t line up in this industry.”

Ben Askren was a dominant Bellator name in 2013. After two back-to-back stoppages over Karl Amossou and Andrey Koreshkov, his score was 12-0. But “Funky” continued his career in Asian promotion, ONE FC, where he also remained undefeated.

Duke Roufus believes Askren should have gotten the UFC chance immediately after his Bellator run.

“The toughest thing is timing. I wish that Ben would have been given the opportunity when he should have, to enter the UFC when he was coming out of Bellator. “

What are your thoughts on Duke Roufus’ statements? If Ben Askren signed the UFC contract earlier, would he win the 170-pound belt?


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