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.”
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.