Ben Askren Trades Shots with ONE FC Welterweight Phil Baroni on Twitter

John HeinisSenior Analyst IDecember 4, 2013

SINGAPORE - SEPTEMBER 03: Phil Baroni enters the arena during the ONE Fighting Championships welterweight bout against Yoshiyuki Yoshida at Singapore Indoor Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Singapore.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

Former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren may not officially be a part of the ONE FC roster yet, but that doesn't mean he doesn't already have a fight in mind for his promotional debut. 

Popular Twitter personality Front Row Brian got the ball rolling by asking his followers to name a welterweight currently under contract with ONE FC. 

Eventually, Phil Baroni ended up chiming in on the matter. 

@FrontRowBrian if ya didn't know, now ya know Busta @ONEFCMMA 's Best Welterweight!

— phil baroni (@philbaroni) December 4, 2013

With "Funky" all but guaranteed to put the ink on the dotted line before the end of the week, the matchmaking pretty much does itself. 

@philbaroni @ONEFCMMA so you vs @Benaskren it is?

— FrontRowBrian (@FrontRowBrian) December 4, 2013

"The New York Badass" certainly had an interesting take on the potential matchup. 

@FrontRowBrian @ONEFCMMA @Benaskren I was beating up Olympic wrestlers since 2001 and silver medalist at that

— phil baroni (@philbaroni) December 4, 2013

Needless to say, Askren had a much different take on how the showdown in the cage would go down.

@philbaroni @FrontRowBrian @ONEFCMMA ha Phil you would go cry in the bathroom to your GF again after I finished abusing you.

— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 4, 2013

Baroni tried to laugh the insult off, but Askren wasn't having it. 

@philbaroni @FrontRowBrian @ONEFCMMA wasn't a joke you seriously cried to your GF in a bathroom. It was embarrassing to even watch!

— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 4, 2013

Baroni is just 15-17 in 32 professional fights, including a recent 1-3 record under the ONE FC banner. Meanwhile, Askren, a former Olympic-level wrestler, remains undefeated at 12-0.

The high point of Baroni's career was arguably when he fought Frank Shamrock for the Strikeforce middleweight title in June 2007, getting choked out by a rear naked choke in the second round. 

On the other hand, Askren notched four successful title defenses under the Bellator banner before his contract expired, and the company opted not to re-sign the high-level grappler. 

Therefore, it's hard to imagine Baroni vs. Askren being a competitive fight. However, the bout remains a distinct possibility since Baroni is probably the most well-known welterweight currently under contract with ONE FC.

Baroni vs. Askren: would this be a fight worth watching for the fans?


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for