The former Bellator welterweight champion, made short work of Bakhtiyar Abbasov in his ONE FC debut, winning by first round submission. However, Askren had already been promised a title shot prior to the fight, against the champion.
Nobutatsu Suzuki knocked out Phil Baroni in his ONE FC debut at ONE FC 9, and followed that up by defeating Brock Larson by decision to become the ONE FC welterweight champion. The Japanese fighter possesses knockout power with 10 knockout victories in his 11 pro wins.
A clear striker vs. grappler matchup as any, right away Ben Askren got the takedown on Suzuki and began punching away at the champion with back control. Suzuki attempted to get back to his feet on multiple occasions but Askren easily took him back down each time. Standing up and reigning down punches on a defenseless Suzuki, the referee had no choice but to step in and stop the bout.
Ben Askren is your new ONE FC welterweight champion with a first round TKO victory.
“He probably should’ve chose the easy way, easier for all of us involved,” Askren said of his opponent.
“My strategy is the same strategy every time, I walk across the cage, I put him on his back and I keep punching him until the ref stops it.”
Askren’s message for the other welterweights in ONE FC: “These other welterweights want it, they can come and get it. It’s not going to be an easy night for them, probably a tough night, go home with some marks on their face.”