Ben Askren Won’t Apologize For His Fighting Style
In an interview with MMA Junkie, Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren (10-0 MMA, 7-0 BFC) said he wasn’t going to apologize for what some call a “boring” fight style of wrestling. He will defend his title against Karl Amoussou (16-4-2 MMA, 4-1 BFC) at Bellator 86. The event takes place at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs on Spike TV after preliminary fights on Spike.com.
On if his critics will ever change their opinions: “I doubt it. I would be shocked (if they did). It doesn’t bother me. I don’t think they appreciate what I’m doing. But I don’t expect them to appreciate it. The majority of MMA fans don’t have a great technical knowledge base. What they want to see is people snapping arms or people knocking people out, and there’s no appreciation for the finer points or jiu-jitsu or wrestling. But I’m OK with that. I know that, and it’s not like I either feel the need to change it, or two, to think I actually can change it.”
On his fight with Amoussou: “I think the only thing I’ve got to fear is if he comes out with the bum-rush in the first two minutes. That’s his strategy, if you want to call it that – and it’s a terrible strategy. But he comes out hard in the first couple minutes, and after that he really fades. So I’ll just come out to fight and I should be fine. If he doesn’t win in the first 90 seconds, he has zero chance of winning the fight. And in the first 90 seconds, he has about a 3 or 4 percent chance, maybe.”
On his wrestling: “I started wrestling when I was 6 and reached my peak when I was 24. So it took me 18 years to get that good. Am I going out there and looking for the knockout ever? Probably not. I doubt I’ll ever do that. I’m smart enough to stick with what I do well. I know I wrestle and use my offensive jiu-jitsu better than almost anyone in MMA right now. So I’m going to stick to my guns.”