Ben Askren will challenge Nobutatsu Suzuki for his ONE FC Welterweight World Title in just a few days. Ahead of that fight he talked to BJPenn.com about the fight and the potential of a UFC future. Askren is potentially one of the greatest fighters alive today to never set foot in the UFC’s Octagon. After it became clear that a UFC contract was not in the cards he signed with ONE FC and apparently is not thinking about anything outside of his new home.
“I have to say that I am really happy with ONE FC at the moment so I’m not thinking about any other organizations”, said Askren. “I’m happy and very comfortable here with ONE FC and I’m looking to stay on for a long long time”
His opponent Nobutatsu Suzuki (11-1-2) decimated Phil Baroni in 2013 and then defeated a tough Brock Larson in 2014. Ben Askren may very well be his toughest opponent yet, but the ONE FC champ has finished an amazing 10 of his 11 wins by KO or TKO. Askren doesn’t seemed concerned at all. His last three fights have been finishes, which silenced some of his critics who slammed him for fighting not to lose instead of to win.
“He is a good striker, but like the other 13 opponents I have faced, he will be no match for my grappling”, Ben said. “It took me time to build skills. The last time I did not finish a fight was against Douglas Lima and that fight was just 3 years into my career. Prior to starting MMA I had never done any striking art or BJJ. It took me a while to get better at them, but now being proficient, it is a lot easier to finish fights.”
Ben has been helping TUF 20 coach Anthony ‘Showtime” Pettis train the female fighters on Team Pettis and he seemed to have a positive experience.
“I helped with a couple practices when I was in Vegas over the 4th of July weekend”, stated Askren. “The girls were awesome, I was very impressed by their skill level and maturity.”
Askren fights Nobutatsu Suzuki on August 29 for the ONE FC welterweight championship.