Ben Askren Proclaims 'I'm the Best Wrestler in MMA,' Talks Possible Free Agency
Undefeated Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren managed to put on one of the most dominant, one-sided performances in MMA history on Wednesday night when he finished Russian Andrey Koreshkov with strikes in the fourth round of their fight.
As crazy as the statistic sounds, Askren outstruck Koreshkov in a ridiculous 248-3 margin before finally getting the stoppage at almost 18 minutes into the fight.
The win marked Askren's fourth consecutive title defense in Bellator and second straight stoppage victory by TKO.
The former Olympian isn't apologizing to anyone that doesn't like the way he takes opponents to the mat and just mauls them over the course of a fight. Askren is a proud wrestler, and it's not something he's going to change.
"I'm a wrestler, I'm the best wrestler in MMA," Askren proclaimed after the fight ended. "Wrestling is, was and always has been the most dominant mixed martial art on the planet. That's all there is to it. We all know it, some people want to fight it, some people want to doubt it, but wrestlers rule the MMA world."
Askren is now entering a crucial time in his career following his win over Koreshkov on Wednesday night.
When speaking to Bleacher Report before the fight, he noted that a contract negotiation was coming up soon with Bellator. While he wouldn't confirm it directly after the fight, it appears his bout with Koreshkov was the last one on his current deal.
"I guess the secret's out," Askren answered when asked if it was indeed the final fight on his contract. "We'll find out, not sure."
Askren only spent three fights outside of Bellator and those were the first fights of his career. Outside of those, Askren has competed in the Bellator cage a total of eight times with eight victories and is the reigning and defending welterweight champion.
Bellator recently re-signed lightweight champion Michael Chandler to a lucrative contract, and with their new Spike TV deal along with a pay-per-view coming on Nov. 2 it seems like a no-brainer for the promotion to get a new deal done with Askren.
While certainly not the most explosive fighter on the roster, Askren gets the job done every time, and he's become one of the most polarizing figures in the company.
"You're either the heel or the face right? For me it's really easy to be the heel," Askren said about his personality in MMA. "Just like some stupid people think WWE is real, some people think that the persona I play is real as well and it's easy enough to trick them. They love you or they hate you, but either way as long as they're not neutral about you, they'll turn your fight on. There's a lot of people that tuned into Spike tonight to see me get knocked out.
"The likelihood of that happening was about one percent, but there was still that chance they could have seen that happen."
If Askren is currently without a contract, he will sit down with Bellator in the coming weeks to hopefully hash out a new deal. The promotion would be crazy to let a champion slip away during this crucial time while they are working toward a pay-per-view.
As long as the numbers are right, Askren will likely re-up with the promotion. But, if not, he's certainly open to other challenges, like a bout with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who Askren says is tougher than Koreshkov, but not by much.
"I think it would be a little more difficult," Askren said when talking about fighting GSP, "but something like (the Koreshkov fight)."
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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