(Looks like Kenny has the 2014 “Shill of the Year” award locked up. / Video via AXS TV Fights)
Friday’s edition of Inside MMA on AXS TV featured a tense interview segment with ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren, and has generated controversy not because of Askren’s words, but for host Kenny Rice‘s reaction to them.
The clip above begins with co-host Bas Rutten asking Askren about Dana White’s recent statement that the UFC might consider signing Askren if he keeps winning. Unsurprisingly, Askren wasn’t there to show gratitude to the Baldfather:
“Dana, he’s a chameleon. He changes his tune depending on whatever fits the situation. I am definitely not fond of this guy at all. I want the chance to prove I’m the best welterweight in the world, but I don’t know if I’m willing to stoop to his level.”
You’d think that Askren’s unvarnished honesty would please the Inside MMA hosts; after all, this is exactly the kind of thing that would generate publicity for their show. Instead, Kenny Rice begins to chastise Askren for his comments:
“Well you’re saying a lot about a $500 million operation, there, Ben. I mean, I gotta be honest, you know it’s always nice to fight windmills sometimes, but to take on verbally with the UFC, this is a battle you can’t win.”
Askren explains that if he plays out the rest of his career in ONE FC and retires happy, he would consider that a win. He then continues attacking the “iffy decisions” recently made by Dana White, which have led to a backlash by the fans. But before he can really get cookin’, Rice interrupts him: