Bellator Fighting Championships made the welterweight title fight between Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman “Cyborg” Good and Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Champion Ben “Funky” Askren official for Bellator 33 taking place at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Oct. 21.
“Lyman dominated Season #1 and Ben dominated Season #2. This is a great Welterweight Championship fight between two world-class undefeated Welterweights,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.
The fight marks Good’s first title defense since racking up consecutive stoppage victories in the quarter and semifinal rounds of the Season 1 Welterweight World Championship Tournament that preceded a first round TKO of Omar De La Cruz in the finals at Bellator 11 in June of 2009. The impressive run through the tournament established Good as the first Bellator Welterweight Champion and catapulted the undefeated star into the MMA spotlight.
Growing up in Spanish Harlem, NY and surrounded by adversity early in life, Good felt the need to establish himself as a fighter—both mentally and physically—to survive. Realizing this, his mother decided to enroll Good in martial arts at the famed Tiger Schulmann Gym as a healthy and disciplined outlet for his aggression. Good fell in love with martial arts, eventually going pro in 2005 and becoming an instructor/sensei himself at Tiger Schulmann.
Ben “Funky” Askren overcame a different type of adversity to become the Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Champion. The 2008 Olympian and two-time NCAA Division I National Wrestling Champion silenced many critics who doubted his ability to transition from collegiate wrestling to MMA. Needless to say, the transition was seamless. The Mizzou grad, known for his unconventional wrestling style, took out Ryan Thomas in both the quarterfinals and semis before completely dominating top welterweight Dan Hornbuckle with a non-stop barrage of takedowns and ground-and-pound in the finals to become the tournament champ, handing Hornbuckle his first loss in six fights and two years.
While Good is widely respected for his ability to push the pace and out-hustle his opponents, Askren, who wrestled in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, is hardly intimidated by his opponent’s strength.
“He’s never really knocked anyone out. I don’t know what people keep talking his power for; he might have a little bit of strength but that’s going to go away after the first round,” said Askren.
“I’m going into this fight with the same strategy as my previous fights, just a lot more devastating,” said Askren. “I want to submit him and quickly, but if that doesn’t happen, I’m prepared for five rounds. I can go all day long.”