Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren has an upcoming fight with UFC veteran Nick Thompson in the main event of Bellator 40 this weekend. According to Askren, he won’t be knocked out, he won’t be submitted, so he’s just going to win.
Many fans have criticized Askren’s style and have labeled him as a “lay-n-pray” fighter — perhaps you could look at it as them praising the champ for his extraordinary ability to control a fight while doing as little damage as possible. Think of him as a Jon Fitch 2.0.
Askren says he got into MMA just to win and he isn’t going to go out there to “put on a show.” He claims it’s not his job and he won’t chase fight night bonuses like some of the “losers” in the UFC. Here is what Askren had to say on the Sherdog Radio show, “Beatdown”:
“I think people like that are losers because, in my mind, a fight’s about winning, not about putting on a show. We’re not singers, we’re not actors, we are mixed martial artists or fighters or athletes, whichever way you wanna do it and that’s about winning … When you’re fighting for 25 minutes, every fan and their mother can talk shit about this and that and don’t finish fights.
Well, why don’t they get in there and fight for 25 minutes? That’s a long time. And you got to win before you show. I mean, people that show on top of winning, say Anderson Silva, that dude now he’s a showman but he’s also won, what, 13 fights in a row? So, obviously, he can do it.
And there’s people like Leonard Garcia who goes out and puts on a show but he’s like 3-5 in his last 8 fights. Like, c’mon dude.”
What do you think of Askren’s comments? Is he right in just going out to win or should he want to also go out and put on a good show for the fans?