(Funky Ben goes for the funky finish against Ryan Thomas at Bellator 14. Props: Fight! Magazine)
By Anton Gurevich
Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben “Funky” Askren will step inside the Bellator cage this Saturday, fighting MMA veteran Nick Thompson in the main event of the night. Askren won the Bellator Season Three Welterweight Tournament last year, defeating Dan Hornbuckle in the finals, then captured the Bellator Welterweight title from the hands of Lyman Good at Bellator 33.
“Funky” is 7-0 in his Mixed Martial Arts career, and is considered one of the most decorated wrestlers in the sport today. Askren was a two-time NCAA Division I Champion for the University of Missouri and a 74kg Freestyle Wrestling participant at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Here’s what Ben Askren had to say about his fight against Nick Thompson, the future of his career, and Jake Shields’s chances against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 129. Bellator 40 will take place this Saturday, April 9th, at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma. The event will be aired LIVE on MTV2 at 9p/8c.
Your opponent, Nick Thompson, is a well-rounded fighter with a lot of submissions and KO victories on his record. What was the most important aspect of your preparations for this fight?
ASKREN: I just concentrated on getting myself better as a fighter. At this point in time, I know I have a lot of areas where I can improve, and I’m just working hard on closing some holes in my game. If I do that, give my best in training, the rest of the things will just take care of themselves during the fight. I’m fully prepared and ready to go. It’s just about going there and beating somebody up.
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