Despite a brief scare in the opening seconds of the fight, Ben Askren (13-0) kept his undefeated record intact with a first-round submission of Bakhtiyar Abbasov (11-3) in today’s ONE FC 16 headliner at Singapore Indoor Arena.

ben-askren-one-fc-16In the bout, which streamed in North America as an online pay-per-view, Abbasov surprised Askren when he shot for a takedown in the first 10 seconds of the contest. While that’s an impressive feat in itself, the move ultimately led to his demise. Askren, an Olympian and former Bellator MMA welterweight champion, quickly reversed position and began to tee off with a ground-and-pound attack.

While Abbasov absorbed a commendable amount of damage, he eventually succumbed to the pressure and submitted to the arm-triangle choke at the 4:21 mark of Round 1.

Askren was expected to challenge for the ONE FC welterweight title in his promotional debut, but the fight failed to come to fruition. However, following his victory over Abbasov, the 29-year-old made it clear he still wants that matchup with a callout of 170-pound champion Nobutatsu Suzuki (11-1-2).

“Suzuki is going to bring me my belt,” Askren said in his post-fight interview. “He can put it in the middle of the cage and give it to me, or I can take it the hard way.”

Official ONE FC 16 results included:

MAIN CARD (Online pay-per-view)
Ben Askren def. Bakhtiyar Abbasov via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:21
Vincent Latoel def. Eddie Ng via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:16
Jadambaa Narantungalag def. Honorio Banario via unanimous decision
Caros Fodor def. Willy Ni via submission (kimura) – Round 1, 3:29
Major Overall def. Bruno Pucci via KO (soccer kick) – Round 1, 2:52
Chi Lewis Parry vs. Alain Ngalani ends in a no-contest (accidental low blow)
Radeem Rahman def. Raymond Tan via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:46

PRELIMINARY CARD (Online pay-per-view)
Nik Harris def. Brad Robinson via split decision
Casey Suire def. Stephen Langdown via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:41