Props: Wisconsin Combat Sports
"I chose Bellator for a number of reasons. They offered me the best contract, I can get three fights done in three months, and on top of that I really think that they will do a good job of promoting me. I feel good about facing (Ryan) Thomas. I hear that he’s a good wrestler, and if that’s his strongest suit, obviously he’s not going to beat me there. I also hear that submissions are strong for him, but he’s not going to beat me there either. So for me this is a really good match-up. I’m still working a lot on stand-up, because that’s my weakest point. But I do intend on taking it to the ground and if a guy is weak on their submission defense I do plan on submitting him. I’m going to win this fight by submission, fast. I feel great about my chances of winning this tournament. My wrestling and my grappling are good enough to beat anybody."
NCAA Division I Champion and U.S. Olympian Ben Askren likes his chances heading into the Bellator Fighting Championships welterweight tournament on April 15. "Funky" has an undefeated mixed martial arts record of 3-0 and will look to stay perfect when he squares off against Ryan Thomas in the opening round. There's a lot of hype surrounding Askren and he's an early favorite to win it all -- but can he deliver? Or has the Wisconsin native bitten off more than he can chew?