Former Bellator MMA welterweight champion and reigning ONE Championship 170-pound kingpin Ben Askren, 33, will say goodbye to mixed martial arts (MMA) after tomorrow’s (Nov. 24) showdown against grappling wizard Shinya Aoki, 34, at the upcoming “Immortal Pursuit” event in Singapore.
Part one of our preview here.
Askren (17-0, 1 NC), fresh off his technical knockout win over Zebaztian Kadestam last May, has been perfect throughout his combat sports career and made some of his biggest headlines with his ongoing rivalry against Luis Santos.
“Shinya is a really good opponent,” Askren said at Wednesday’s press conference. “Obviously, he is a legend of the sport, and he is a really big challenge on the ground, which is where I like to compete, personally. I am excited for this bout. He is a grappler and has a great skill set that I respect, so I think it will be a great battle.”
Aoki (39-7, 1 NC) has history of bouncing around weight classes and hasn’t been seen since getting bludgeoned by Eduard Folayang last November in Singapore, snapping a nine-fight win streak for the “Tobikan Judan.”
“Ben Askren is a spectacular martial artist,” Aoki said. “He is an athlete that I really respect. He has his own goal for his career, and I have mine as well. I am here to win another belt in ONE Championship and redeem myself in front of the world.”
For much more on tomorrow’s “Immortal Pursuit” click here.