Former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has scored himself a $50,000 deal with ONE FC.
His deal with the Far East organization sees him net $50,000 to show and $50,000 to win, an exceptionally good payout considering he is not a big name in the East.
Askren left Bellator MMA when his contract expired and fielded offers from World Series of Fighting and Bellator itself. The UFC declined to make an offer, largely due to the criticism his fighting style has received from fans.
“World Series of Fighting had already made me an offer and they called back to reiterate it [after the UFC fell through]. had two good offers, but I was really considering retirement at this point, because my goal is to be the No. 1 fighter in the world,” Askren tells Sports Illustrated.
“Outside the UFC, Bellator was the next best place and I was ranked as high as No. 7 when I fought for them. No matter where else I went, I wouldn’t reach No. 1. My goal was out the window, so I had to adjust my thinking to my next plan.”
Askren revealed the $50,000/$50,000 in the course of the interview.
Worth noting: ONE FC operates similar rules to PRIDE FC’s, which means head-kicks and stomps are allowed to a grounded opponent. Such rules can drastically change how wrestlers fight, not least because a failed shot can mean taking knees to the head after your opponent has sprawled on you.