On April 24 American MMA fighter Ben Askren, who also holds the ONE Championship welterweight title, squares off against Brazilian Luis Santos with his belt on the line. The fight will take place in MOA Arena as part of ONE Championship 26: Valor of Champions.
This is what he had to say about his upcoming matchup.
ONE CHAMPIONSHIP : What do you think we have to look forward to in your match with Santos?
BEN ASKREN: I think my match with Santos will be the same as (my fight against Nobutatsu) Suzuki. I think his ground game will be a little bit better but not that much. I will take him down, pound him out, and have my hands raised and the belt wrapped around my waist.
OC: He is your most experienced opponent to date; do you think he has anything new or more difficult to bring to the table?
BA: I don’t think Santos brings anything new to the table for me. Even though he has 70 fights I bring something new to the table because I have a skillset that is unique that no one can really give him the feel of in practice. So even with 70 fights, he’s gonna have a tough time dealing with me.
OC: Recently, your Evolve MMA teammate, Rafael dos Anjos, faced your Roufusport teammate, Anthony Pettis for the UFC Lightweight championship. Did you help either or both with their camps? Was it difficult to watch the fight?
BA: Anthony is my teammate at Roufus, and I’ve trained with him for almost every day for the past 3 and a half years so it was definitely difficult to see him lose. I know how important the belt is to him and how hard he worked to defend the belt. So watching him lose was very hard for me.
OC: You’ve made it abundantly clear that you would love to face Johny Hendricks, no matter where or whether it is for a title. Do you still feel that way, or are you not interested anymore, now that he lost to Lawler?
BA: Doesn’t matter if Hendricks has a belt or not, I’d like to fight him for sure
OC: I’m pretty sure I know how you will answer this, but who do you believe is the best Welterweight in the world right now? And if you answer, Ben Askren, then tell me who do you think would give you the toughest fight, who can challenge you the most?
BA: 100% I think I am the best welterweight in the world but I’d say the toughest fight for me is Robbie Lawler as he has good take down defences and he hits really hard. Robbie has a great streak going and I think he is a really tough fighter.
OC: What do you think about ONE in the MMA landscape?
BA: ONE has a really unique duopoly going with ONE being so dominant in Asia with UFC in America. We shall see.
Tickets for ONE Championship Valor of Champions are now available via SM Tickets here.