New UFC Hype-Train Ben Askren Gets Tapped Over 20 Times in 7 Minutes
At 34 years of age, Ben Askren has been around! The former College system wrestling champion has made a name for himself as one of the best grapplers going around. Back in 2009 when he made his MMA debut, Askren was also kicking goals in the FILA Grappling World Championships. This diversity of competition has given a roundness to his fighting style which sees his opponents struggling to find a chick in his armor.
The ONE FC champion was traded to the UFC for the first time in November, making him one of the more accomplished fighters to receive a debut invitation so late in life.
The move was an interesting one with the UFC trading away its own flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson for the privilege. Askren would make his delayed debut at UFC 235 in Las Vegas.
His opponent was another former division champion, Welterweight Robbie Lawler. Askren dropped weight to compete in the 170 lb division having competed at 185 lbs in the ONE FC.
The fight was billed as two champions squaring off, but with Askren unproven against household UFC names it was unknown how he would fare against Lawler.
The experienced fighter lost his own Welterweight Championship in 2016 at the hands of Tyron Woodley.
Lawler’s second fight back from the title loss would not be a long one but would be shrouded in controversy. Knowing Askren’s strength was on the deck, Lawler would have been prudent to keep the fight standing as much as possible, but after a masterful takedown, Askren got to work wrapping up Lawler in a Bulldog choke. Referee Herb Dean, after witnessing Lawler’s arm go limp and fall unconscious, stopped the fight awarding Askren a UFC win on debut.
Lawler would pop straight back up after the submission, protesting the decision to wave things off. However, the Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett confirmed the commission were supporting of the referee’s adjudication to stop the fight.
But before Askren was a master, he was certainly a student. Footage has emerged of a much younger Askren being put through his paces by BJJ master Marcelo Garcia. The full 7-minute grapple shows the difference that experience makes; experience that Askren now has.
Check out a short extract from masterful display here.