Ben Askren’s 14-0 MMA career has been a victory lap of sorts for those of us who go against the grain. In a MMA world filled with anonymous fighters who all look-alike and are preprogrammed with only four different voice commands, Askren has carved out his own place in the human sport of face punching. Engraved on Mount Askren is a funky style of wrestling honed at the University of Missouri, an Olympic run in 2008, the face of Bellator’s early tournaments, and his signature fro.
In Askren’s corner of the MMA-verse there are no scared cows and no topics are off limits when a mic is placed in front of the 31-year-old welterweight’s mouth. Like a throwback pro wrestling heel, Askren is going to make you love or hate him every time he speaks but either way you will watch his fights to see the results.
MiddleEasy.com and Ben Askren came together as ONE being before his fight on April 15th versus Nikolay Aleksakhin at ONE Championship: Global Warriors in the Philippines. Grab your favorite golf disc and a side of melon fruit as we ask Ben Askren about his new two-year ONE Championship deal, pro wrestling, Johny Hendricks, and more!
MiddleEasy: How does your style match-up with Nikolay Aleksakhin? Prediction for the fight?
Ben Askren: I think my style matches up very well and I am excited to get in the cage and prove it.
ME: You signed a six fight contract with ONE Championship, this will be your fourth. How many more years and fights do you see your MMA career going?
Askren: I just resigned for six more fights with ONE, which will last for 2 years.
ME: What’s the biggest difference between fighting for Bellator and ONE Championship is what?
ME: You talk a lot of trash about Johny Hendricks, where does that beef stem from? Did you hear his steakhouse was closed down?
Askren: I lost to him in HS wrestling. Been trying to get a piece of him ever since. Yes I heard his steakhouse was closed, that is sad.
ME: Whatever happened to Luís Santos? Is he still on your radar?
Askren: Not sure
ME: The best pro wrestling video game of all-time is? Favorite pro wrestler of all-time?
Askren: Don’t play video games and probably Stone Cold Steve Austin.
ME: All of your fights before ONE FC were in the states, how different is it fighting in Asia?
Askren: It hasn’t been any different, the crowds have been huge and fans have been loud and very into the matches.
ME: We have to ask… Bellator Welterweight champion, ONE FC Welterweight champion, will you ever capture the Triple Crown and become UFC Welterweight champion?
Askren: Never say Never
ME: What do we have to do to get more videos of you crushing things on YouTube? Will you crush things on video for Middle Easy?
What would you like me to crush? (Editor’s Note: !!!!!!!!!!)
— MiddleEasy (@MiddleEasy) April 11, 2016
ME: When you retire, will you devote your time fully to competitive disc golf?
Askren: Coaching kids wrestling and Disc Golf.