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18th Oct 2016

Georges St-Pierre immediately receives dream fight call-out following free agency bombshell

One for the purists

Ben Kiely

In the ever-expanding list of fantasy MMA match-ups that we thought would never happen, Georges St-Pierre vs Ben Askren is right at the top of the pile.

Although the UFC see things differently, St-Pierre announced on The MMA Hour that his UFC contract has been terminated and he has entered free agency. If this turns out to be the case, GSP will be free to field offers from other organisations and the Canadian superstar has made it clear that he still wants to fight.

Shortly after dropping that bombshell, St-Pierre received a call-out from arguably the greatest welterweight in the world not in the UFC, former Bellator and current ONE Championship champion Ben Askren.

Askren is a two-time NCAA Divison 1 wrestling champion, and is undefeated in mixed martial arts holding a pristine record of 15-0-1 NC. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers in the sport, but it has always been tricky to judge where he would rank among the world’s elite due to the fact that he’s never fought in the UFC.

That being said, he has knocked out current Bellator champion Andrey Koreshkov which, at the time of writing, remains the only loss on the Russian’s record in 20 fights. Koreshkov’s last two wins came against former UFC lightweight king Benson Henderson and former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima.

GSP, on the other hand, has solidified his place as one of the greatest to ever grace an Octagon, holding a 25-2 record and having defeated both men who’ve beaten him inside the cage in rematches. His incredible collection of scalps includes BJ Penn, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks and Matt Hughes, to name but a few.

He took a hiatus from the sport after successfully defending his belt against Hendricks at UFC 167, but announced his intention to return to the sport earlier this year. After contract negotiations broke down with the UFC, he claims he has cut ties with the promotion and could be looking to book a fight elsewhere.

Another interesting storyline here is that these two fighters may share a common adversary in Dana White. The UFC president made it clear that the promotion had zero interest in signing Askren back in 2014, during an episode of “The Download With Dana White.”

“The thing is with Ben Askren is that Ben Askren doesn’t really want to fight here, in my opinion. People that are close to him say the same thing. The guy is making a ton of money to fight nobodies, but when you talk and you say a lot of things it keeps your name out there. Trust me when I tell you this, Ben Askren does not want to fight in the UFC. Believe me when I tell you that.”

Coincidentally, White told BT Sport earlier this month that he felt St-Pierre does not want to fight in the UFC either, a claim that the Candian superstar has since denied.

“I’m telling you again, I don’t think GSP wants to fight. I keep saying this. You guys know fighters as much as I know fighters, do you think GSP wants to fight? GSP wasn’t crazy about fighting when he was fighting! Now three years later he’s just dying to fight? He’s not. I don’t think he is.”

One snag may be that because of ONE Championship realigning its weight classes in a bid to stop weight cutting, Askren is now fighting at 185 pounds. This means we could have a very strange scenario where two of the best welterweights in the world could be fighting each other at middleweight.

Honestly, who cares about that asterisk? This fight sells itself.

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