The welterweight division is one of the most stacked divisions in all of mixed martial arts, in any promotion. We’re talking names like Georges St. Pierre, Tyron Woodley, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, Michael “Venom” Page, Demian Maia, and a slew of others. One name you don’t often hear, however, is Ben Askren.
Askren is the current ONE Championship welterweight champion and sports a spotless record of 15-0, 1 NC (NC due to eye poke). He is perhaps one of the best fighters to have never stepped foot in the UFC’s octagon. And it is for that reason, that so few are familiar with him stateside.
A former Bellator welterweight champion, Askren has never been shy when it comes to speaking his mind about the sport. He recently sat down with his buddy Chael Sonnen on Chael’s podcast, “You’re Welcome”, and opened up about a bevy of topics.
Askren trains at Roufusport along with good friend and current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. Fellow welterweight CM Punk is also a training partner, and a fighter that Askren was highly critical of when the UFC signed the former WWE superstar.
So when asked what would happen if he and Woodley were to step into the cage, the usually very outspoken Askren was a little bit more reserved:
“I don’t like talking about that. He’s a good friend of mine and it would just create an awkward feeling. I’m actually hanging around with him this Friday at an alumni night at our wrestling state university. But I’ll give you this answer, I think it goes one of two ways, and I think it should be pretty obvious to anybody that knows martial arts. Tyron is, and this is statistical, Tyron is the hardest hitter in the division. That means when he punches, people go down. If he hits me and he connects early, then I go down. Otherwise, I’d be able to withstand that initial barrage and I think I would be able to impose my will after that.”
It’s hard to argue with Askren and his pedigree when you look at his spotless record. But when asked about the other welterweights in the world, he was far less generous:
“These other guys suck. Stephen Thompson, I’d do what I want to him. He’d be my girlfriend if I wanted him to.”
Big, big words from Ben. It was a great interview and Ben dove deep into quite a few topics, including the Ali Act. Give a listen below: