Ben Askren to Defend Welterweight Title at ONE: Global Rivals

February 25, 2016

Ben Askren returns to the cage next month to face Nikolay Aleksakhin in the main event of ONE: Global Rivals. The American will be looking to make the first successful defense of his welterweight title after two scheduled match-ups with Luis Santos last year failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Askren (14-0-0-1) is a former Bellator champion, a two-time NCAA Division One wrestling champion, and a U.S. Olympian. He won the ONE belt in 2014, but saw his first defense against Santos end in a controversial no contest after the Brazilian was unable to continue due to an eye poke.

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Ben AskrenThe rematch was booked for November, but was abandoned at the last minute because Santos could not make 170 pounds. It means that Askren has not competed a fight since August 2014, when he stopped Nobutatsu Suzuki in the first round to win the belt.

Aleksakhin (16-3) has been much more active. He fought seven times in 2014 and twice last year. He’s riding a six-fight winning streak and submitted Mongolian welterweight Burenzorig Batmunkh in the third round on his ONE Championship debut last year.

ONE: Global Rivals will be the organization’s seventh card in Manila and is likely to feature a number of Filipino stars like Eduard Folayang, Geje Eustaquio, and Mark Striegl.

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