Former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren (12-0-0) will make his debut in the Asian MMA scene when he takes on Bakhtiyar Abbasov (11-2-0) this Friday, May 30, in the main event of One FC 16: Honor or Glory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
A former All American and Olympic wrestler, Askren is rated among the best welterweights in MMA. Undefeated, “Funky” was able to defend the Bellator welterweight title for four times before parting ways with the company after contract talks fell.
Abbasov, who fought most of his fights in Russia and native Azerbaijan, will also be making his ONE FC debut. Stocky and well-built, he is riding a nine-fight win streak and out of his 11 total wins, nine came within the first round.
Considering the quality of competition he had faced, the fight heavily tips in favor of Askren. He also got the pedigree to boot and it clearly manifested in the body of work he turned up during his Bellator days. Askren is known for his smothering style to control the fight and this might be too much for Abbasov take.
With the shady level of competition and the fact that he had already lost twice from no-name fighters, there is a serious doubt in Abbasov’s chances of winning this bout. If the fight goes to the ground, it might likely stay there until the end of the round.
The best way for Abbasov is to keep the fight on both feet. Still, it will be a long shot that the fight will stay like that with Askren in the equation.