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Classic Crush: 20 Photos of Erika Eleniak, Super-Babe of the ’90s

Tag: Ben Askren

Twitter Beef of the Day: Ben Askren Picks a Fight With Johny Hendricks, Gets Lectured by Matt Hughes Instead


(I can honestly say that I have a slightly lower body-fat percentage than the UFC welterweight champion right now. It’s the small victories, you know? / Photo via Jamill Kelly)

By Bear Siragusa

Yesterday, to the delight of bored MMA fans worldwide, former UFC welterweight kingpin and Hall of Famer Matt Hughes waged twitter warfare with former Bellator welterweight champ/serial leg-humper Ben Askren.

It all started when Askren fired some eBullets at Johny Hendricks while they were both in attendance at the TUF 19 Finale, clearly trying to bait Hendricks into the kind of rivalry that can only be settled on a UFC pay-per-view. Nothing really came of his efforts, but Askren was still jawing on twitter the next day:

@BenAskren: I dare any media member to ask @JohnyHendricks if I make him nervous and post his stuttering response.

Hendricks remained quiet, and instead, Matt Hughes showed up to teach the young whippersnapper about knowing your role and shutting your hole:

@mattHughes9x: You talk to much ben.

@BenAskren: You talk to much ben.” That’s your opinion :)

@mattHughes9x: @Benaskren very true. I got where I am by doing not talking.

@BenAskren: “@matthughes9x: very true. I got where I am by doing not talking.” Lots of ways to skin a car. [Ed. note: That has to be a typo, right?]

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Monday Memo: Ben Askren’s ONE FC Win, “Bitches in a Beauty Salon,” And a UFC Champion’s Pay Gripes


(Photo by Mags Icasiano/Rappler)

By Brian J. D’Souza

Five under-the-radar stories you may have missed last week…

BEN ASKREN WINS…NOW WHAT?

Exiled from Bellator, refused a contract with the UFC, and having rejected an offer from the World Series of Fighting, undefeated welterweight and 2008 Olympian Ben Askren chose to seek his fortunes in Singapore-based ONE FC.

Last Friday, Askren improved his record to 13-0 in his promotional debut against Bakhtiyar Abbasov (now 11-3), winning in the first round via arm-triangle choke. This marks the third opponent in a row that Askren has finished. Where does this leave the American wrestler?

Askren spoke to CagePotato.com earlier this year and said that he believed he was the best welterweight in the world, with a caveat: “I definitely agree that [Johny Hendricks] should be ranked number one because I haven’t had the ability to prove I’m number one.”

Askren pointed to bantamweight Bibiano Fernandes and lightweight Mike Chandler as top fighters outside the UFC who could give a good challenge to the UFC’s champions at their respective divisions, but he was adamant that the bulk of the sport’s top talent lies within the UFC.

Unfortunately for Askren, there is no reason why the UFC—or any other MMA promotion—has to sign top contenders like himself. Combat sports have always been a business, with the promoter’s mandate being to maximize revenue.

Unlike the organizational titles in place in MMA, there are world titles sanctioned by third parties in boxing. This means that contenders can climb the ladder with each win against ranked opposition, earning leverage towards a title shot. The system is wide-open to corruption—managers and promoters often pay cold hard cash to advance their boxers in the rankings, evidenced by the 1999 IBF rankings scandal. However, with the right backers, fighters can have more career traction in boxing than currently exists in MMA.

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Brutal KO of the Day: Major Overall Destroys Bruno Pucci via Soccer Kick at OneFC 16 [GIF]


(Props: @ZombieProphet)

This little bit of savagery just went down at OneFC 16: Honor and Glory in Singapore, where a featherweight prospect named Major “Majee” Overall knocked out Bruno Pucci ice-cold with a soccer-kick to the face. PRIDE-style soccer kicks have been legal in OneFC since September 2012, following the controversial outcome of Andrei Arlovski vs. Tim Sylvia 4.

Note: Ben Askren will be making his promotional debut in the main event of today’s OneFC card, which is still going on at the time of this writing. Askren is fighting a guy named Bakhtiyar Abbasov. We’ll update this post if anything GIF-worthy happens. UPDATE: Askren subbed that dude with an arm-triangle choke in the first round.

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GIF of the Day: College Wrestler/Possible Samurai Josh Llopez Scores a Brilliant Cartwheel-To-Double-Leg-Takedown


(Props: BloodyElbow)

If Brian Ebersole has taught us anything, it’s that a successfully executed mid-fight cartwheel (and some finely-sculpted body hair) can lead to instant notoriety in the world of combat sports. Clearly a follower of Ebersole’s career, Josh Llopez of the Maryland Renegades understood the near 100% cartwheel-to-Internet-glory turnover ratio, and used an off-season wrestling match to cement his name in the annals of college wrestling history with this absolutely insane cartwheel to double leg takedown.

Truthfully, we lack the necessary wrestling know-how to determine whether Llopez’s move was merely a brilliant act of trolling/showboating or a “legitimate” move used to set up his takedown. In either case, it worked, and it was easily the smoothest thing we’ve seen on the wrestling mat since Rasul Chunayev Azerbaijani’s dance celebration.

Just sayin’, if Ben Askren started doing sh*t like this, he’d be signed by the UFC yesterday.

-J. Jones

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25 MMA Reaction GIFs for All Occasions


(Matt Hughes doesn’t need to say it. But yes, it’s whatever.)

Reaction GIFs are the world’s most perfect means of communication. Why waste time typing out actual words about how you’re feeling when you can just link to other people’s facial expressions? The next time you find yourself in a heated comments section, fire off one of these MMA-related reaction GIFs. Use the next page links to move through the list, and enjoy…

When you’ve defeated a bitter rival:

When you just laughed at something you shouldn’t have laughed at:

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And Now He’s Retired: Jay Hieron Hangs It Up After a Decade in MMA

Jay Hieron announced his retirement from MMA competition today via twitter. He retires with a 23-7 record, accrued over 10 years of competition.

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Interview: Duke Roufus Discusses GLORY, The Pettis Brothers, And the Chaotic Art of Striking


(Roufus [at far left] with Sergio Pettis, Anthony Pettis, Ben Askren, and Roufusport BJJ coach Daniel Wanderley. Photo via Dave Mandel/Sherdog.)

By Elias Cepeda

Duke Roufus had an illustrious career as a kickboxer before becoming even more well-known as an MMA coach. In recent years, his highly regarded Roufusport camp has produced such talents as UFC champion Anthony Pettis, his younger brother Sergio, and former Bellator champ Ben Askren. In advance of the Glory 13 event in Tokyo this Saturday that Roufus is doing color commentary for, CagePotato sat down with him to look back on the twists and turns of his career, and look towards the future of some of his biggest stars.

CAGEPOTATO.COM: What would you say your role with Glory is, Duke? We hear and see you doing color commentary during events but when you were in Chicago last fall, you also had a big presence in all sorts of other pre-event activities.

DUKE ROUFUS: Well, about ten years ago they had me do color commentary for K-1 on pay-per-view broadcasts. This was really a natural progression when they came back with Glory. My role is that of a color commentator but I’m also just a huge kickboxing enthusiast. I love the sport. I’m just as big a fan as a participant.

We’ve always heard Joe Rogan talk about “K-1 level striking” in certain UFC fighters — meaning that a particular guy had great striking, so much so that he could survive in K-1, which was recognized as the top kickboxing promotion in the world. Has Glory replaced K-1 in that role?

Yeah, for sure. K-1 just struggled internally. Japanese kickboxing and MMA have had some internal issues. The guys from Glory have really stepped up. They are also huge kickboxing enthusiasts. Now, all the best fighters are fighting for Glory. We also did something similar to what MMA did with unified rules, and we’ve tried to set that up for kickboxing. We want to make it a fan-friendly fight. The fans can really tune in and enjoy the fights. We created a rule set that makes it fun for the fan.

As an expert kickboxer and one who knows Muay Thai so well, don’t you think that the Glory rules could be better, though? You have many fighters who have trained and competed under full Muay Thai rules — using elbows, using the clinch, using sweeps — and now they get to this point and they’re not allowed to use these effective weapons.

Well, with those things allowed, the tournaments would have a different outcome, that’s for sure. There would be more cuts from elbows and so more guys wouldn’t be able to move on in the tournament. And clinching is how you defend not getting elbowed.

The uneducated fan boos when the clinch happens. Uneducated MMA fans do the same thing when Jiu Jitsu happens in a fight. I understand clinching and the art of it. I understand trips and dumps. Unfortunately here in America, people want to see big punches and big kicks. It can be difficult to understand Muay Thai. Even the scoring is a little difficult to follow. Kickboxing is very similar to boxing. That makes it easy to follow.

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Could Ben Askren vs. Phil Baroni(‘s Imploded Ankle) Actually Be Close to Happening?

You guys, I don’t claim to be a prophet all that often, save for when I accurately predict which chef will be eliminated each round on Chopped, but today is one of those days.

When it was first announced that Ben Askren was (somewhat inexplicably) headed to One FC some two days ago, I suggested that the former Bellator kingpin take on Phil Baroni in his promotional debut. It was the fight I wanted to see, and therefore, the fight fans wanted to see. Perhaps most importantly, Baroni is the only other member of the One FC welterweight roster I could name off the top of my head, so how could this fight not make perfect sense?

In any case, you can understand my excitement when opening up the Twitter earlier today to see the above tweet. Because as boring as Ben Askren truly is in the cage, he is equally entertaining online. And it turns out that the following tweet was only part of what was a beautiful back and forth between Askren and Baroni, a back and forth that is sure to lead to a future showdown pairing old guard against new guard despite the fact that the old guard’s body is literally disintegrating beneath him.

Join us after the jump for what will surely go down in the history books as the catalyst to the greatest MMA feud of all time.

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Ben Askren Joins Evolve MMA, Likely Headed to…One FC (?!!!)


(Askren, seen here attempting to grapple with the current One FC welterweight champion.)

Poor, poor Ben Askren.

Despite being one of the most talented/accomplished wrestlers in the sport (if not the most talented/accomplished), and despite his blatant attempts at trolling his way into the UFC, it seems that “Funky” simply does not meet the standard of the world’s premier MMA organization. If only he had been born in Tuvalu, perhaps this glaring oversight could have been avoided. Dana White recently spoke with USA Today about the former Bellator champion’s future:

He’s a nice guy. You know, we just won’t be signing him. There’s competition for him at World Series of Fighting. This kid will probably sign with them. I don’t know (since) they’ve got to come to an agreement and a deal. But if he does, there’s actual competition for him there.

I think it’s crazy that he’s ranked in the top 10. He hasn’t fought anybody (Ed note: Way to kick Jay Hieron while he’s down) and has no challenges. The best thing that could’ve ever happened to that kid was leaving Bellator. Now he has the opportunity to go to World Series of Fighting and show what he’s got.

You’re right, Dana. There is plenty of some competition to be had at WSOF. Unfortunately, it appears that Askren is well on his way to signing with One FC, who we weren’t even aware had a welterweight division until earlier today. Join us after the jump for the details.

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Rousimar Palhares Is World Series of Fighting’s Problem Now


(Palhares would later describe this moment as “the first time I’ve ever been on an airplane.” / Props: @ToquinhoMMA)

When it comes to picking up the UFC’s leftovers, World Series of Fighting and Bellator have displayed two very different approaches. While Bellator tends to sign the most washed-up UFC castoffs in order to make their home-grown fighters look impressive when they beat the UFC guys (or to create negative buzz around a surely-doomed PPV), World Series of Fighting tries to pick up the best UFC castoffs available, in the hopes that fighters like Anthony Johnson, Miguel Torres, Jon Fitch, and Yushin Okami are famous enough to draw fans on their own. Bellator would rather avoid having champions who weren’t good enough to keep their jobs with Zuffa. For World Series of Fighting, having a UFC veteran win a belt is the kind of promotional hook they’ve been working towards all along.

I mention all of that to help explain why World Series of Fighting has just signed Rousimar Palhares to a multi-fight contract. Yes, he’s been bounced out of the UFC for causing undue injury to his opponents, and any organization that signs him isn’t doing the sport any favors. On the other hand, Palhares is incredibly talented, a ferocious fight-finisher, a consistent generator of controversy and awesome GIFs — the kind of athlete that any B-level MMA league (besides Bellator) would kill to get their hands on.

Palhares is expected to make his WSOF debut in March, against an opponent to be named later. Jon Fitch has already pre-emptively turned down the fight, but matching Toquinho up against another American wrestler is a possibility. As MMAJunkie reports:

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