Ben Askren
Askren believes Mayweather vs McGregor did not help either sport Getty


  • Askren said he was 'sick and tired' of The Money Fight.
  • 'Funky' adds that Mayweather let McGregor win rounds to make it look competitive.
  • The ONE welterweight champion also talks about teammate Tyron Woodley.

ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren was not a fan of Floyd Mayweather's big-money boxing fight with Conor McGregor.

The two combat sports stars faced off on Saturday (26 August) in what was one of the most talked about fights of all time as Mayweather defeated McGregor via a 10th-round stoppage.

Despite McGregor not having ever boxed professionally, with the contest being ridiculed by many in the combat world beforehand, the Irishman won the opening rounds as the fight was somewhat competitive before "Money" took control.

As a result, McGregor received plaudits from MMA fighters and boxers alike for going 10 rounds with arguably the greatest boxer of all time while the fight in general, was deemed to have raised the profile of both sports.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier revealed that he felt the 29-year-old was representing their sport and showed that MMA fighters could compete with boxers.

Meanwhile, current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley praised his showing as a "phenomenal performance".

Askren however, was waiting for the end of 26 August as he believes The Money Fight did not help either sport and that Mayweather conceded rounds on purpose.

"I couldn't wait for it to get over," Askren told IBTimes UK. "I was so sick and tired of it. Obviously, they were doing it for one reason only. Everybody knows what it's all about."

"The fight is just for show. It didn't do any good for both sports. It gave Conor a lot of attention but I do not think it helps MMA as a whole."

"Mayweather let McGregor win those [early] rounds. He is such a great boxer and was definitely going to win but he didn't want McGregor to look bad. So he let McGregor win a few rounds, take it slow and I didn't even feel Mayweather was doing much."

As for Woodley, Askren trains with the former Strikeforce fighter and was his cornerman during UFC 214 where "The Chosen One" was booed for his performance against Demian Maia.

Referring to the reaction of the crowd, "Funky" said fighting is not about appeasing the fans, adding that "you have to play the game, not the other way around."

With the duo both reigning as welterweight champions for different organisations, when asked if he would ever fight Woodley if they were competing under the same banner, the 33-year-old was hesitant about the idea but did imply what his prediction would be.

"I don't like talking about that because Tyron is a good friend of mine and it would just create an awkward feeling," he explained. "Well, I think I can make a strong argument. I've never been beaten."

Meanwhile, Askren is in action on Saturday (2 September) as he defends his ONE welterweight title against Sebastian Kadestam at the organisation's debut Shanghai show.

The main card will start at 12pm BST and an HD livestream can be purchased from their official site.