Welcome to Midnight Mania!
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 MMANYTT.com:
“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.
And @TeamKhabib I’ll meet you at 165 to determine the best MMA grappler on planet earth! You just name the time and send location.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 26, 2018
165 will be a division. @ufc just need a star to start it, like Rousey for women’s 135. Well they got a star, take that shit to the bank.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 26, 2018
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.”
Hey @GeorgesStPierre please name your terms of engagement!!! Who would you like me to beat up or how many twitter followers would you like me to have. You name it’s done. Then I’ll see you in Montreal.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 26, 2018
“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?
This should be fun
UFC just announced a #UFC232 press conference for Nov. 2 in NYC featuring Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes. That should be a lot of fun.— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) October 25, 2018
Young Max Holloway
UFC light heavyweight prospect Dominick Reyes was living the trail life today- it’s a good thing he wears a helmet
What a freaking headkick
Joanna Jedrzejczyk hitting pads
This was an incredible fight, Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes at the peak of their powers.
Now that’s a knockout
“If Sambo was easy, it would be called Jiu Jitsu”
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✨Timing & Vision • @danmcgowanmt with a lovely Elbow ‘KO’ victory over Sangmorakot on tonight’s show at @rajadamnern_stadium ————————— Shop all your BOON Sport products direct from the factory https://www.boonsport.com ————————— www.siamfightnews.com • #phuketfightclub #thailand #muaythai #siamfightnews #boonsportofficial
Ben Askren was talking smack to the whole welterweight division today, including Jorge Masvidal, Alan Jouban, Darren Till, and Mike Perry, as well as the Diaz brothers.
Who the fuck are you ? I’ve had one loss don’t be thinking your gonna come over here and ruin everyone, trust me I would knock the curly hair out your head you hillbilly. https://t.co/ba9IvXu92t— Darren Till (@darrentill2) October 25, 2018
Ben all I do is chat absolute horse shit askren— Darren Till (@darrentill2) October 25, 2018
Alan being humbled in front of millions isn’t something fake tough like happening to them. You’re 1-2 in your last 3, go back to modeling. https://t.co/eNwKBAZBC8— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 25, 2018
@GamebredFighter you used to say a lot of shit. Now reality gonna bite you in the ass and your twitter fingers got fired.— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 25, 2018
Well I appreciate you being the only one with the courage Mike, but let’s be real: you suck, you know you aren’t getting the shot. https://t.co/xMAV4jpZmg— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 25, 2018
Hey @nickdiaz209 word is you blew all your money and need to fight again. I realize you haven’t won a bout since 2011, but people still seem to think you are good. I’m willing to show them otherwise!— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 26, 2018
Even Dillon Danis tried to get in on the action and he’s not even in the UFC
i’ll put you on your back faster than a prostitute with a mortgage relax curls https://t.co/aJTquZgWfQ— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) October 25, 2018
Michael Chiesa took a different approach
Hey @Benaskren, I’m a welterweight but I’m here to say... you’re fuckin awesome. Been a big fan since your Mizzou days, my teammate @ONEtylermcguire is fighting for the title you retired in ONE FC and I want to train with you. Congrats on getting the deal done. #FunkyTown— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) October 25, 2018
Al Foran is an incredible impressionist.
Robert DeNiro, Mike Tyson, Conor McGregor, Tyson Fury, Chris Eubank, Rio Ferdinand & Katie Taylor talk to Anthony Joshua. pic.twitter.com/WSi2sUxBsB— Al Foran (@ImpressionistAL) October 25, 2018
Demetrious Johnson is so wholesome
Good night world. Just so everyone knows I am pumped and excited for the future stay tuned!! #newadventure— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouse) October 25, 2018
Interesting submission hold
Masvidal was also talking smack to Leon Edwards
Oh you thought you were important enough to get an instant response?? You must be a Dumb ass your own chick won’t respond to you instantly what makes you think I would? #hoslapseason #bitchmade #elmuerto https://t.co/eAOnv2vPpn— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) October 24, 2018
A reminder of what Dustin Poirier can do
Andrea Lee vs. Jessica-Rose Clark is a great matchup that I somehow had missed
Will Smith got inspirational and Muay Thai fighter Kevin Ross shared the inspiration.
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100% of this!!! thanks to @thebigpygmy #Repost @thebigpygmy (@get_repost) ・・・ Much love to all those out there chasing your dreams, and if you are in a waiting period, hesitating, doubting... You’ve got this! Take the risk and LEAP! IT’S WORTH IT! Thanks to @willsmith for posting this!