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Midnight Mania! Woodley says Ben Askren would ‘wreck’ Khabib and St. Pierre

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Ben Askren will arrive in the UFC with a lot of open questions. Despite being undefeated and a former Bellator and ONE champion, he has never faced the elite of the elite. However, he does have the ringing endorsement of the guy at the top of that heap, UFC champion Tyron Woodley. Via Damon Martin of

“I’m happy for my homie Ben Askren, he’s one of the best fighters in the world,” Woodley said during an Instagram live session. “Not just UFC, not just Bellator, not just ONE FC, he’s had a remarkable career combatively. I would consider wrestling a combative sport as well. Four time finalist in the NCAA’s, [two] time champ, only lost to two individuals ever in collegiate wrestling, made an Olympic team. He really revolutionized scrambling or as he calls it ‘funk’.

“Phenomenal guy, my wrestling coach, obviously my teammate.”

Askren called for the creation of a 165-lb. division, joining a chorus of fighters that includes Kevin Lee, Dustin Poirier, Nate Diaz, and Conor McGregor. He believes that’s where a showdown with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov would go down.

Woodley gave his thoughts on two matchups in particular that Askren has called for: the aforementioned Khabib Nurmagomedov, and all-time welterweight great Georges St. Pierre.

“Khabib is a ‘G’ but Khabib ain’t never fought nobody like Ben,” Woodley said. “He never fought anybody like Ben, he ain’t never fought nobody like Michael Chandler. Those guys would wreck him on life. Chandler’s intensity is more, his striking is better. Ben doesn’t have the same intensity but his style is not one of intensity.

“His style is one of scrambling, one of static strength, one of consistency, pressure, and ground and pound is ridiculous, jiu-jitsu is ridiculous, wrestling is ridiculous. His ability to get in close and put himself into positions where he’s going to be successful is bar none some of the best I’ve ever seen.”

“GSP would never stand a chance against Ben,” Woodley added. “Ben thrives against guys’ offensive onslaughts and GSP’s whole thing was always timing. If you ever see some video a long time ago, Ben Askren grappling against Jake Shields and I’m going to tell you this one thing — the highlights of the video were not on that video. Ben is just on a different level.”

That’s as high praise as you can get in this sport. Of course, it isn’t unbiased; Woodley and Askren have been friends for a long time and wrestled together in college. Will Askren be able to back up the hype he’s built for himself?


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