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Ben Askren Happy with Defense; Not Going Toe-to-Toe with One-Punch KO Power

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

Ben Askren at Bellator 33Ben Askren had a game plan at Bellator 64 on Friday night, and he executed it to perfection.

His style is not flashy, but his performance was near flawless as he dominated Douglas Lima for all five rounds of their championship fight. The Windsor, Ontario, Canada, crowd, however, was predominantly unimpressed as they shouted boos throughout the main event.

Askren has often been criticized for having “boring” fights. The loudest ovations occurred during the two separate fights in the audience that took place while the welterweight championship bout was in progress. While the audience may not appreciate the way Askren wins, it’s near impossible to not respect the fact that he gets the job done.

Aware of the crowd’s negative reaction, Askren made no apologies for the manner in which he won the 50-45 unanimous decision.

“His stand-up isn’t something you want to mess with. If the Canadian fans want to stand on their feet for 25 minutes with Douglas, well, they wouldn’t last that long because he’d probably finish them earlier. My striking has improved tremendously, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stand around for 25 minutes and slug it out with someone that has one-punch knockout power. That’s ridiculous. If I wanted to do that I’d go to the sport of kickboxing.”

Askren’s coach, Duke Rufus, echoed the strategy they had set and emphasized the respect they both shared for Lima’s striking ability.

Despite being controlled on the ground the entire fight, Lima attempted several submissions. Askren remained calm and escaped every threat with relative ease, as he stated, “People neglect the fact that I have a brown belt in jiu-jitsu. I feel like I landed ten times as many punches as I ever have and a lot of them were really, really hard. A lot of lesser men would have rolled over and gave up a rear-naked choke like most of the sissies in MMA.”

While Askren has said his striking has greatly improved, there was no evidence of that yet. He emphasizes that he has only been at Rufusport for eight months. That is also the amount of time that he has been dedicated to MMA training full-time. He did indicate that he would be willing to stand longer with someone that is not a prolific striker.

Askren has several accomplishments in wrestling, which he has already translated into a world championship in MMA. Now under the guidance of Duke Rufus, his stand-up skills should only continue to improve. Whether you like his style or not, it’s time to get used to seeing Ben Askren fight in meaningful mixed martial arts bouts for years to come.


By Brandon New for MMAWeekly.com
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  • Triggerman99

    Don’t care. You’re still boring.

  • ToxicDLA

    I’m usually quick to call Ben Askren boring, and I don’t like him much, but I have to say I was actually quite entertained by the technical grappling match these two had.

  • phrankthetank

    It’s spelled ‘Windsor’

  • MetallicPan

    Ben Askren is doing it the right way. He is working in the gym to improve the kinks in his game and when it comes to fight time, he does what it takes to win.

    Why would the guy try and fight with skills that he does not yet possess?

    • Triggerman99

      I wouldn’t expect him to fight out of his element. But unfortunately, his element is about as exciting as watching grass grow.

      • MetallicPan

        To each their own. Being a wrestler, myself, I enjoy Askren’s technical style.

  • Prodigy815

    There is nothing meaningful fighting in Bellator

  • BizzleZX10R

    i WISH i could of seen it,i’ve never seen a bellator fight in my life. I heard it’s shown on MTV 2 but MTV 2 was playing other stuff and some spainish channel was showing Bellator,but i couldn’t take the loud obnoxious spainish commentary.

  • D-rail

    I was actually impressed with this dude’s boring style of winning. The fact Arksen doesn’t care about what people say and think, make him cool. Not a very exiting guy to watch, but when u do, u get kind of caught rooting for him. Prodigy5150, Bellator has a growing audience by the day and they sell shows out. I’ll admit, I used to ignore it before, and now, I don’t miss any of them. They’re free and almost weekly, what more can u ask for??

  • http://www.twitter.com/uncanny390 uncanny390

    We dont expect him to stand and bang but at least learn some submissions. He tried what, one weak attempt at a choke? It was only good grappling because of what Lima was doing, not Askren.

    • Triggerman99

      Yep. He’s a great wrestler, and until someone can stop him from wrestling for the entire fight, he’s gonna keep doing it. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it. It’s still boring, IMO.

  • adidaw0304

    I don’t think Askren is worried about being “boring” he is simply worrying about dominating which he has done every fight. Personally I can’t stand it when decorated wrestlers get into the octagon and try to stand up for the entire fight. Their stand up is terrible for the most part, Askren is not straying from his roots and he is the perfet example as to why Wrestlers have such success in MMA – knockout power doesn’t matter a lot when you are on your back for 25 minutes. Go Funky!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=784498372 stefanonogarole

    The lay and pray style displayed by Askren is the trademark of average wrestlers like him, Fitch and Brenneman.
    At olympic level he get clowned by any Saitiev or Fundora he could fight, so winning by decision is the best he can achieve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003311915309 georgesperry

    As soon as someone says lay and pray I know they aren’t an MMA fan but a boxing fan. Too bad boxing is nearly dead. A couple pay per views a year.
    I love all aspects of MMA because it gives all a chance to use what they do best to win. If a guy can’t beat a wrestler then he isn’t championship material.

    • macgrubber

      some might say if you can only wrestle and not box then you are simply a wrestler and not mma material.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=784498372 stefanonogarole

      if u refer to my previous post, …

      I’m a huge MMA fan and nothing personal with you, but if you think that controlling the opponent on the ground for hours is the goal of a wrestler … well, maybe on average level collegiate wrestling, but when Saitiev and other russian/cuban/iranian wrestlers win all the olympic medals they display a flashy technic of throws and pins that is not only spectacular, but also effective; that’s why the Sonnen/Fitch/Brenneman/Koscheck couldn’t have chances against wrestlers like Saitiev (on a wrestling match).
      I’m not saying that ALL wrestling is boring in MMA, as I know that some striking or BJJ matches could be boring too.