Ben Askren Criticizes UFC’s Dana White for Alleged Favoritism in Title Shot Selection

In a candid discussion on Daniel Cormier’s YouTube channel, Ben Askren didn’t mince words when he criticized UFC CEO Dana White. He said that White allegedly favors contenders he personally likes when it comes to doling out title shots.

Askren expressed his discontent with what he perceives as Dana White’s unfair treatment of deserving title contenders. He specifically pointed out the case of Merab Dvalishvili and Belal Muhammad, both on impressive winning streaks but still awaiting a title shot.

According to Askren, this delay is attributed to White liking the two less than the other contenders.

In the conversation with Cormier, Askren didn’t hold back. He said: “I know you can’t say anything bad about Dana. It’s okay, I can. I freaking hate it when Dana does this sh*t and doesn’t give people he doesn’t like title shots. Because Merab, how many did he win, like nine in a row or something!?”

He went on to highlight the exemplary records of Dvalishvili and Muhammad. He said that although the two have experienced prolonged success, they haven’t received any title shot.

Askren also drew attention to the apparent inconsistency in White’s decision-making. Citing the case of Michael Chandler, White gave Chandler a title shot after just one win in the UFC.

“Belal’s another one, Belal’s won how many in a row?… I mean, here’s the guy, I’m not even mad because I like this guy. But Michael Chandler, he came in from Bellator, it might have been off a loss… he won one fight and fought for a belt! Because Dana liked him, right? And then you have a guy like Belal who wins like what, eight or nine in a row? You have Merab, [who won] eight or nine in a row.”

Askren referenced Chael Sonnen’s viewpoint, where he suggested that the frequent occurrence of title bouts makes it challenging to determine if the rightful contenders are truly the best in the division. Askren vouched for Dvalishvili, asserting that the he has consistently proven his skillss.

Askren expressed his frustration, stating: “It’s so frustrating to watch these guys just struggle and they’re so good… Sometimes we don’t know who the best in the world is. Every year we have World Championships and we know who the best is and no one will argue about it. But how long has Merab actually been the best in the world? It might have been a couple of years! I don’t know.”

Dvalishvili has now won ten straight bouts. His most recent win came at UFC 298 against Henry Cejudo by unanimous decision.

On the other hand, Muhammad has won in nine straight bouts. This is except for the 2021 No Contest against Leon Edwards.

Merab Dvalishvili’s impressive record of ten consecutive victories, including a unanimous decision against Henry Cejudo at UFC 298, stands as a testament to his skill and consistency. Similarly, Belal Muhammad boasts an outstanding streak of nine consecutive wins, excluding a No Contest with Leon Edwards in 2021.

Cormier said that Dvalishvili is next in line according to White, and that Belal is still optimistic about challenging Edwards for the title next. But as of yet, nothing has been declared official.