[MMA NEWS ARCHIVES]
Three years ago, the world was abuzz about Ben Askren‘s pending UFC arrival, including longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan. The following article is presented to you in its original, unaltered form, courtesy of the MMA News Archives.
On This Day Three Years Ago…
[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED OCTOBER 31, 2018, 2:44 PM]
Ben Askren is coming to the UFC and the welterweight division has officially been put on notice.
The former Olympic wrestler who boasts an undefeated record while holding multiple world titles will join the UFC roster as part of the blockbuster trade that sent former flyweight king Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship in his place.
Askren has long been considered one of the best welterweights on the planet for several years but questions still remained because he never had the chance to face elite competition in the UFC.
That will all change soon with Askren joining the roster and UFC color commentator Joe Rogan says everybody needs to be paying attention because the game just changed.
“Everybody’s in trouble,” Rogan said on his podcast when speaking about Askren coming to the UFC. “There’s a lot of motherf–kers in trouble if Ben Askren gets a hold of you. You’re like ‘why can’t I get up?’.”
Rogan has been speaking Askren’s praises for quite some time and now he’s ready to see how the former two-time NCAA champion matches up with the best of the best in the UFC.
While he’s never fought inside the Octagon before, Rogan cautions anybody questioning Askren’s credentials because a deep dive into his record will show he’s faced quality competition previously and dominated virtually everybody he’s faced during his career.
“There’s a reason why he’s undefeated and he hasn’t been hit in several fights,” Rogan said about Askren. “I had him on the podcast cause I wanted to let people know about him. I’ve been a big fan of Ben Askren’s from back when he was a Bellator champion.
“If you watch his fights in Bellator against [Andrey] Koreshkov and [Douglas] Lima — Lima’s a beast and he just dominated him. Lima f–ks people up, Lima’s a dangerous, dangerous cat and Ben Askren was like ‘whoops you’re on your back again, you can’t get up and you’re taking punches’. It’s just a different caliber of wrestling.”
Rogan has long said that wrestling is the best foundation for athletes looking to transition into mixed martial arts and an argument could be made that Askren’s grappling game is on another level even when compared to the top fighters in the world.
“I’ve said it many, many times — it’s the most important skill for MMA. It’s wrestling,” Rogan stated. “It dictates where the fight takes place. If you want to stand up, the guy can’t take you down Chuck Liddell style and if you want to go to the ground, you’re the one who gets to dictate where the fight takes place. If you’re the superior wrestler, it’s the best base for MMA. I really believe that.”
Askren hasn’t booked his UFC debut but he said on Wednesday that he’s hoping to make his first appearance inside the Octagon in early 2019 sometime between January and March.
What do you think about Ben Askren coming to the UFC? Sound off in the comments and let us know!