Askren and Till teased the promotional fireworks a potential matchup could bring on Friday at a fan Q&A before UFC London’s ceremonial weigh-ins. Everything started when a fan asked Askren for his thoughts on a rematch against Robbie Lawler, who Askren defeated in controversial fashion in his long-awaited Octagon debut at UFC 235.
“I don’t think I want to do it,” the former Bellator champion told the crowd inside The O2 Arena. “I want to fight Darren Till. He’s right back there.”
After a light but good-natured trickling of boos, Askren followed up his response by predicting that a matchup against Till would “go really well” for himself.
And just seconds later, the native Liverpudlian — who was backstage waiting for weigh-ins to begin — let his own feelings be known, rushing from behind the stage curtain with his middle fingers raised high to the air, yelling “F*ck Ben Askren!” in an amusing scene that set off the London fans.
Of course, ever the showman, “Funky Ben” didn’t miss a beat. The undefeated wrestler promptly led the partisan crowd on a chant of “Dar-ren Till! Dar-ren Till!” then dropped one last nugget before moving on to the next question.
“You guys see his new teeth?” Askren said of Till. “They look nice. I need to go wherever he went to get some new shiny ones.”
UPDATE: Till responded to Askren’s challenge on the UFC London Weigh-In Show on ESPN+, stating, “Askren’s fight comes, but Askren’s been in the UFC five minutes. It’s not about what he wants. It’s about what I want. I’m here, I’m No. 3. Seventh fight, fourth main event. I call the shots, not Ben. And the champ will be calling the shots, so we’ll see. I know the champ wants to fight me. I’ve spoken about it with him face-to-face. So, all goes well for me Saturday, I’m praying and hoping, and then I want to campaign for that title shot.”’