'Funky Ben' willing to help improve Pinoy MMA fighters


Posted at May 14 2014 11:39 PM | Updated as of May 15 2014 07:39 AM

Ben Askren. Photo by Hans Lustre



MANILA – Former Bellator welterweight champion and now ONE FC fighter Ben Askren said he is willing to help Filipino mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters improve their ground game.

Askren, who visited Manila last Monday for an open training, is known for his wrestling-oriented fight game that has kept him unbeaten in 12 fights.

"I will love to get that opportunity,” he said when asked about teaching wrestling in the Philippines.

Filipino MMA fighters are known for their stand-up moves, but many are weak when it comes to ground-fighting techniques.

“The Philippines has produced so many great fighters and if I get that chance, I will definitely do it," Askren said regarding the prospect of tutoring local fighters.

Askren, known as “Funky” Ben, will make his ONE FC debut against Azerbaijani prospect Bakhtiyar Abbasov on a May 30 card in Singapore.

The four-time All-American wrestler said he doesn't mind the pressure he’s facing as an undefeated fighter. On the contrary, he wants the best fights available to prove that he’s the top welterweight in the world.

“You got to embrace the pressure. I have the pressure for a reason. I'm undefeated and I know there's a target on my back and I want everybody to give me their best fight. I don't want easy fights," he said.