2013 was probably the most eventful year in MMA for former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren.
After making his fifth successful Bellator 170-pound title defense, defeating Andrey Koreshkov in July, Askren became a free agent, and then became involved in one of the sport’s most publicized contract disputes.
After a few months, Askren signed with ONE FC and, after a recent whirlwind publicity tour, is finally ready to make his return to fighting on May 30 in Kallang, Singapore.
“It feels great,” said Askren about returning to fighting. “It has been almost 10 months since my last fight and I am just ready to get back in the cage and fight.”
After spending his entire MMA career fighting in North America, to get an opportunity to showcase his skills on an international stage has Askren even more so ready to fight.
“I am very excited,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “All of the ONE FC shows I have watched have been awesome. Lots of energy from the crowd and I know the May 30 Singapore show will be packed as well.”
Having been nearly a year since his last bout, Askren feels his game has grown and he has become an even more complete fighter than before.
“I am still getting a lot more comfortable with the stand-up,” he said. “I am more confident than I have ever been striking and that is making my takedowns even easier to get.
“Everything in my MMA game is really coming together.”
On May 30, Askren (12-0) will face Bakhtiyar Abbasov (11-2) in the main event of his ONE FC debut.
“Like I said, I am excited to fight again,” said Askren. “To win, I have to do what I always do: stalk my opponent, take them down, and beat them up.”
After having spent the last several months dealing with the business side of MMA, Askren is back to fighting and is ready to pick up where he left off last July.
“It is very important for me to keep up my winning ways,” he said. “Hopefully, once I get this first fight past me, I can step in and challenge (Nobutatsu) Suzuki for the title.
“I hope everyone tunes in to One FC on May 30, it is going to be a great show.”