Ben Askren is the longest reigning champion in Bellator, having held the welterweight gold since 2011. As Season 9 gets closer, the champion isn’t too worried about the contenders who will enter a tournament and attempt to win a title shot.
Once the competition is narrowed down, Askren begins to see who his next challenger will be. For now, Askren is focused on his upcoming title fight.
“There’s six or seven of the eight guys that say, ‘Oh, I’m going to kick Askren’s a–,'” said Askren on MMA Junkie Radio. “Then half of them lose in the first round, and you’re laughing at them like, ‘Well, maybe you could beat me up if you could win the first round of the tournament.'”
Askren won the belt in 2010 and defended it three times to improve to 11-0. He faces Andrey Koreshkov later this month at Bellator 97.
Koreshkov took two decisions and a knockout to win the Season 7 tournament.
Bellator 97 comes from the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, NM on July 31. The main card, including the welterweight title fight, airs on Spike TV.