Sounds like Ben Askren has mastered the art of subtlety.
The brash Bellator welterweight champion, who is undefeated in his "Funky" mixed martial arts career, will go head-to-head with Nick Thompson in the main event of Bellator 40 this Saturday night (April 9, 2011) at the First Council Casino, in Newkirk, Oklahoma.
So, what can we expect this weekend from the collegiate wrestling champion and former Olympian?
Well, according to his interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s "Beatdown" show, he won't be submitted (because of his wrestling pedigree) and he won't be knocked out (because of his wrestling pedigree).
So what's left?
Just winning, according to Askren, which is why he got into MMA in the first place. To win. He doesn't want to fight for a "bonus" or to entertain the masses, like some of the other "losers" in the UFC.
Hear it directly from the horse's mouth (via Fight Opinion):
"I think people like that are losers because, in my mind, a fight's about winning, not about putting on a show. We're not singers, we're not actors, we are mixed martial artists or fighters or athletes, whichever way you wanna do it and that's about winning ... When you're fighting for 25 minutes, every fan and their mother can talk shit about this and that and don't finish fights. Well, why don't they get in there and fight for 25 minutes? That's a long time. And you got to win before you show. I mean, people that show on top of winning, say Anderson Silva, that dude now he's a showman but he's also won, what, 13 fights in a row? So, obviously, he can do it. And there's people like Leonard Garcia who goes out and puts on a show but he's like 3-5 in his last 8 fights. Like, c'mon dude."
Since Askren is tucked safely behind the Bellator curtain, the chances of him having to back up what he says against some of the UFC's elite are fairly slim.
Then again, the way Zuffa has been known to acquire rival promotions, you can never say "never" in this industry. With that in mind, where do you rank the wrestling phenom in your 170-pound list -- if at all?
And do you agree with his assessment of fighters who fight to entertain and win bonuses? Or is he completely off base? Would a $100,000 "Fight Night" bonus be able to change his mind?