Former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren's debut with his new promotion, One FC, was nothing if not entertaining. Matched against Bakhtiyar Abbasov, the elite wrestler scored a first-round submission win.
The first few seconds, shockingly, saw the Azerbaijani nail a takedown on Askren and take his back. Askren was quick to escape danger and get on top of Abbasov, however, and from there, it was a vintage "Funky" fight. He dominated top position for minutes on end, landed ground-and-pound, advanced through Abbasov's guard and—at four minutes, 21 seconds of the first round—got the tap from a tight arm-triangle choke from side control.
It was Askren's fourth career submission victory and his first since sinking in a Japanese Necktie against Ryan Thomas in his Bellator debut at Bellator 14. The win advances his record to a perfect 13-0 and is his third stoppage in a row. The win over Abbasov sets him up for a title fight with One FC's welterweight champion, Nobutatsu Suzuki, a Japanese knockout artist sporting an 11-1 record.
While the fight itself was enjoyable, there was a great deal of humor during and immediately after the bout. Throughout the bout, as Askren was delivering punches from top position, the referee made a point of asking Abbasov if he wanted to give up:
Yuji Shimada reffing Askren fights is glorious. Constantly asking his opponent if he gives up while Askren is pounding on him.— Brad Taschuk (@bradtaschuk) May 30, 2014
The post-fight interview saw Askren slight his opponent and cut a promo inviting Suzuki to simply give up his belt and avoid a beating—all while the Singapore crowd sat by and silently listened to Askren's smack talk. That was followed immediately by One FC color commentator Jason Chambers dropping a cuss word or two while incorrectly believing himself to be off air:
ONE FC color guy Jason Chambers had no idea he was live on the air after the Askren interview and cursed. Hilarious.— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) May 30, 2014
There is no set date for the upcoming Suzuki vs. Askren bout, so stick with Bleacher Report for more details as they become available.