Ben Askren’s final fight is set for Friday night (Nov. 24) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The American wrestler will look to retire as an undefeated welterweight champion with a win over grappling ace Shinya Aoki at ONE: “Immortal Pursuit.”
Even without the injured Angela Lee, who was in a recent car accident (details), it remains a strong fight card with some interesting fights in the bantamweight and lightweight divisions.
For part one of out preview click here.
155lbs.:Li Kai Wen vs Ahmet Mujtaba
Li Kai Wen (6-3) is already a ONE Championship veteran after six fights for the promotion, although he’s been out of action for a over a year. He’s an aggressive striker who is dangerous with kicks and punches but isn’t afraid to mix things up with the occasional takedown.
Ahmed Mujtaba (6-1) is coming off a submission loss to Keanu Subba but impressed on his ONE Championship debut. The Pakistani is well rounded but will be the underdog here, Li Kai’s striking could well prove too hot for him to handle.
125lbs.: May Ooi vs Vy Srey Khouch
Vy Srey Khouch (2-1) was overwhelmed by Ann Osman in February. The Cambodian fighter was comprehensively outwrestled and powerless to prevent the Malaysian landing a barrage of ground and pound strikes.
It was a completely different story when May ooi (3-2) fought Osman in August. She showcased a superior ground game to submit the Malaysian and will be a favourite here despite the 20 year or so age difference.
145lbs.: Leandro Issa vs Dae Hwan Kim
Leandro Issa (14-6) was initially supposed to face Andrew Leone but the American suffered a concussion in training. Instead the BJJ black belt with a penchant for landing low kicks goes up against another former bantamweight title contender.
Dae Hwan Kim (12-1-1) comes from a Muay Thai background but most of his wins have been by way of submission. He probably has the edge in striking terms, Issa will want to get this to the ground but the Brazilian isn’t much of a wrestler which makes this a very unpredictable bout.
170lbs.: Amir Khan vs Adrian Pang
Adrian Pang (22-10-2) is 40 and hasn’t fought for two years. He is also coming off back to back defeats but both came in decision losses to high level opponents during which he more than held his own.
Amir Khan (8-2) is seven years younger and has fought twice since Pang last tasted action. However the Australian is aggressive, well rounded and hits hard. His younger opponent has more striking tools at his disposal but might struggle to cope with the veteran’s power.
185lbs.:Shinya Aoki vs Ben Askren
It’s difficult to see a way for Shinya Aoki (39-7-0-1) to win this. Thew problem is that Ben Askren (17-0-0-1) has had months to prepare for his unique style and is unlikely to make the sort of errors which could invite a successful submission attempt.
Askren is going to take Aoki down, that much is inevitable. The Japanese fighter will be hoping that the undefeated welterweight champion accidentally leaves the sort of opening he can capitalize on with a submission attempt.
Aoki is very dangerous off his back. But Askren’s ground game is better than people give him credit for and I think he will take the Japanese fighter down and overwhelm him with ground and pound, probably in the opening round.
The full ONE: “Immortal Pursuit” card an be purchased for $9.99 USD from here and the first three fights are being shown live on the ONE Championship Facebook page.