Home > Sport > Other Sports
Tuesday May 13, 2014 MYT 7:53:00 PM
Tuesday May 13, 2014 MYT 9:55:45 PM
by ashreena pillai
American Ben Askren will take on Bakhtiyar Abbasov of Azerbaijan in the ONE FC: Honour and Glory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang on May 30.
PETALING JAYA: ONE FC’s hot new welterweight prospect Ben Askren describes himself as “dominant” ahead of his much anticipated debut for Asia’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.
He is not exaggerating either. The American has a professional 12-0 unbeaten streak.
“In my last fight, I out-struck my opponent Andrey Koreshkov of Russia 248-3. I haven’t been in close fights ... more lopsided fights and I think that has a lot to do with my style of fighting. I think it’s a dominant style,” said Askren after his workout at the Merican Muay Thai Gym in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday.
The Wisconsin-born fighter is currently on a five-city tour ahead of his debut match against Bakhtiyar Abbasov of Azerbaijan in the ONE FC: Honour and Glory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang on May 30.
Askren has earned a reputation as one of the best welterweight (77kg) fighters in MMA with his impressive run of 12 wins – three TKO, three submissions and six decisions.
But his flirtation with fame really started with wrestling. Askren, who wrestled for the University of Missouri, picked up an impressive 153-8 record with 91 of those wins coming by way of pins.
He is also a two-time NCAA wrestling champion, four-time All-American (2004-2007) and an Olympian from the 2008 Beijing Games.
What can fans expect from him come May 30?
“World class wrestling,” said Askren emphatically.
“Asia’s not really big on wrestling. That is the freshness I’ll bring to ONE FC. The fans haven’t seen high-level wrestling and I think they are really going to enjoy it,” he continued.
“If you look at worldwide MMA rankings, wrestlers do really well. It’s a great background to have because you’re able to control the fight – (whether) you want to keep it standing or you can do takedowns if you want to take him down,” said Askren who stands at 178cm.
In Singapore, Askren faces no slouch in Abbasov who not only holds a professional fight record of 11-2 but is currently riding a nine-match winning streak.
Askren is not too worried though. He’s ready to let his skills do the talking.
“It’s the first time I’m fighting in Asia. I’ve watched the ONE FC brand and their fights are really exciting so I’m just excited to be headlining the card. Singapore is the home base of ONE FC, so I know they’ll pack the house and it’ll be a good time,” added the 29-year-old.
“I’m really confident of my chances. I’m undefeated 12-0 and I’m going to keep putting in the effort and style that I’ve done in my previous fights and I expect to win. I’ve got a wrestling base and I’ve been doing it my whole life and it’s worked in all my other fights.
“No reason to expect it won’t work in this fight.”
Tags / Keywords:
Ben Askren, Mixed MArtial Arts, MMA, ONE Fighting Championship, Bakhtiyar Abbasov, Singapore Indoor Stadium
Tune Talk focuses on brand building
The Star serves as official print partner for mixed martial arts competition in Bukit Jalil
Injured Lavillenie out of indoor world championships
Liu Ying to focus on mixed doubles
Musical in Singapore gets the thumbs-up for splendid performance
Ryan raring to make up for lost time in Incheon
All hands on deck as Ainslie prepares Cup challenge
Aprilia to return to MotoGP in 2015
Who to blame when things go wrong? Coach or player
Malaysian girls reach world petanque semis target
There’s nothing small about Aaliyah’s ambitions
The ancient city of Bhaktapur: Living history in Nepal
Floods, storms and quakes uproot 22 million in 2013, numbers to rise
Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million on first day
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)