(Dave Mandel/Sherdog)Ben Askren Needs to be in the UFC RJ Gardner December 25, 2014 Spotlight This past year has been an interesting one for the UFC. The organization was able to deliver a lot of events to the fans, too many for some, and the company signed a landmark uniform deal with Reebok. But at the same time, overall viewership was down and to close out the year and some current and former fighters have brought a class-action lawsuit to the company’s doorstep. There is no way to know for sure how things will turn out for the UFC, but I think it is safe to say the organization is going to see a lot of changes in the coming year. That discussion, however, is for another time. In addition to all of those goings on, the UFC signed a huge name to their roster…Former WWE superstar Phil “CM Punk” Brooks. While this signing has a lot of hardcore MMA fans up in arms, it makes sense for the company. Brooks isn’t going to make a huge impact in the sport as far as titles are concerned, but he does move the needle and the UFC needs that right now. The UFC is thin on star power and they need to attract fans to the sport. Brooks can help do that, but at the same time the company needs to do something to prove that they are still dedicated to being the premier MMA organization in the world and that something should be the signing of former Bellator welterweight champion and current ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren. Askren may not be a huge draw with the casual fan base, but he is more than deserving of a spot in the UFC and it is maddening that he has yet to receive the opportunity to prove he is one of the best in the world. A four-time NCAA All-American, two-time NCAA National Runner-Up, two-time NCAA National Champion, two-time recipient of the Dan Hodge Trophy and 2008 Olympian, Askren is one of the most decorated armature wrestlers in the sport today and his wrestling has translated into a successful MMA career thus far. Askren is currently 14-0 in MMA competition including finishes in his last four bouts. What more does he need to do to prove he belongs? All Askren has done thus far is win and that should be good enough.