Bellator Champ Ben Askren: 'The Notion That GSP Is the Best Wrestler Is Insane'

Kyle SymesCorrespondent IIIAugust 26, 2013

UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is almost universally regarded as the best wrestler in MMA. One man who's not sipping on that Kool-Aid is Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren.

Sherdog, via Matthew Roth of MMA Mania, has the details surrounding the latest shot toward GSP from Askren.

"The notion that he's the best wrestler is insane to me," Askren said. "He's got a great double leg and good timing, but just watching him, you see a lot of areas he's just not a natural wrestler. He doesn't flow as well as other wrestlers. "

St. Pierre did not come from a wrestling background when he began his MMA career, but has become one of the best wrestlers in MMA. Among training with a number of talented fighters and coaches, GSP has worked with the Canadian national wrestling team as well.

There was a time when St. Pierre even considered wrestling in the 2012 Olympics.

Askren does have the amateur credentials to back up his criticism. He's a two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion and was a member of the 2008 Olympic wrestling team. He's also competed on the international stage in FILA and ADCC.

What Askren is arguing is that St. Pierre may be very good at wrestling in MMA, but he's not the best wrestler in MMA. As we've seen plenty of times before, amateur wrestling skills/credentials do not always transfer to success in MMA.

The Bellator champion may get the chance to silence his critics soon enough if he comes to terms with the UFC. Bellator doesn't appear to have any interest in keeping their best welterweight fighter, so it would look like Askren will get the chance to bring his "funky" style to the Octagon.

Of course fans (and other fighters) will be very hesitant to put Askren near the top of the rankings or in a fight against a top guy without having to prove his worth in the Octagon. Beating the competition in Bellator is a lot different than making a run in the UFC.