Ben Askren Stops Shinya Aoki to Retain One Welterweight World Championship

24 November 2017 – Singapore: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), electrified the packed Singapore Indoor Stadium with another evening of authentic world-class martial arts action. 
The Lion City once again played host to ONE: IMMORTAL PURSUIT, featuring the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent. In the main event, Ben “Funky” Askren of the United States retained the ONE Welterweight World Championship with a quick stoppage victory over Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki of Japan. In the co-main event of the blockbuster card, Amir Khan of Singapore withstood a gallant effort from Australia’s Adrian Pang to emerge triumphant in their three-round lightweight showdown.

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In the main event of ONE: IMMORTAL PURSUIT, ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren of the United States left an indelible mark in what was billed as the last bout of his illustrious martial arts career, defeating Japanese legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki by way of first-round technical knockout. 
It only took Askren 57 seconds to retain the most prestigious award in ONE Championship’s welterweight division. Askren effortlessly secured the stoppage after Aoki pulled his American counterpart into his patented guard, giving the champion an opening to unleash heavy blows with ease. 
As Aoki started to cover up to defend himself, Askren relentlessly poured down a barrage of solid punches that left the referee with no other choice but to call a halt to the championship clash.
Ben Askren, ONE Welterweight World Champion, stated: “I think this is it. If I get the opportunity to prove I’m number one, then I’ll take the opportunity. I don’t need any more money. I just want to show the fans that I’m the best welterweight in the world. Other than that, I’m out.”

AMIR KHAN OUTLASTS ADRIAN PANG TO CAPTURE UNANIMOUS DECISION WIN

In the co-main event of the evening, Evolve lightweight standout Amir Khan of Singapore figured in his most impressive performance yet, overwhelming lightweight veteran Adrian “The Hunter” Pang with a showcase of impeccable striking and great takedown defense. 
The 22-year-old Khan consistently kept Pang out of range with his combinations from the outside, while circling away from Pang’s most powerful blows. In the end, all three judges scored in favor of Khan who wins by unanimous decision after three rounds.

LEANDRO ISSA CLAIMS UNANIMOUS DECISION OVER DAE HWAN KIM

A gruelling bantamweight showdown between Brazil’s Leandro “Brodinho” Issa and South Korea’s Dae Hwan “Ottogi” Kim transpired inside the ONE Championship cage, as neither of the two warriors would give each other any quarter for three whole rounds. Although Kim would have his moments on the feet, most of the action took place on the ground where Issa enjoyed an advantage.
In the end, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Issa turned in another well-rounded performance to claim victory via unanimous decision.
After pulling off an impressive promotional debut last August, “Mighty” May Ooi of Singapore continued her winning ways inside the ONE Championship cage by toppling Cambodia’s Vy Srey Khouch in the first round via submission. Leaning on her impressive grappling prowess, Ooi made Srey Khouch wave the white flag with a deep rear-naked choke, cementing her place in the organization’s female strawweight division.
A heated featherweight matchup ended abruptly, when China’s Li Kai Wen was disqualified for illegal blows to the back of the head of opponent Ahmed “The Wolverine” Mujtaba of Pakistan. Mujtaba was given five minutes to recover from injury, but was unable to continue after the allotted time expired.
Rising martial arts star Tiffany “No Chill” Teo of Singapore kept her unblemished professional record intact by making quick work of Indian opponent Puja Tomar to win via submission in the very first round. With 53 seconds remaining in the period, Teo latched onto a wrenching armbar to compel Tomar to tap, claiming the victory.
Japanese martial arts veteran Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi pulled off a sensational victory in front of a passionate Singaporean crowd by routing Filipino standout Gina Iniong, solidifying her position as the top contender in ONE Championship’s talented female atomweight bracket. 
After dealing with Iniong’s signature right hand and takedowns in the first round, Yamaguchi turned the tide in the second stanza by resorting to her  superb grappling pedigree. 
On the canvas, Yamaguchi continuously pummeled Iniong with thudding strikes and tried to bring the bout to a close with savvy submissions attempts. Yamaguchi punctuated the marquee match-up by grinding out Iniong in the third frame, steering the former world title contender to a unanimous decision victory.
Asian martial arts veteran Arnaud “The Game” LePont made a successful return to the ONE Championship cage, submitting the Philippines’ Richard Corminal with an arm triangle choke in round one. After a brief moment on the feet, LePont wasted no time in taking the action to the mat, where he slowly took mount and worked on the submission finish to force the tap.
In the second preliminary bout of the evening, Malaysian standout Muhammad Aiman reinserted his name into the winner’s column by outworking promotional newcomer Yang Fei of China in a tactical three-round catchweight contest. 
Aiman and Yang employed efficient strategies from bell to bell, with the Malaysia utilizing his speed and power to connect on a handful of thudding strikes on Yang, who responded with solid hooks and takedown attempts.
After going back-and-forth for three rounds, Aiman was declared the victor by way of unanimous decision.
Kicking off ONE: IMMORTAL PURSUIT was a high-octane strawweight encounter as the debuting Miao Li Tao of China shared the ONE Championship cage with Cambodian striking specialist Sim Bunsrun. 
In his first outing as a ONE Championship competitor, Miao delivered an outstanding performance by stopping Bunsrun in the first round. The 25-year-old native of Beijing, China got the job done by catching Bunsrun with a perfectly-executed right cross and then going for the finish with follow-up blows on the mat.


Official results for ONE: IMMORTAL PURSUIT

ONE Welterweight World Championship  bout:
Ben Askren defeats Shinya Aoki by TKO (Strikes) at 0:57 minutes of round 1
Lightweight bout: Amir Khan defeats Adrian Pang by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Bantamweight bout: Leandro Issa defeats Dae Hwan Kim by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Women’s strawweight bout: May Ooi defeats Vy Srey Khouch by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 
3:58 minutes of round 1
Featherweight bout: Ahmed Mujtaba defeats Li Kai Wen by Disqualification (Illegal Blows)
Women’s catchweight bout (58kg): Tiffany Teo defeats Puja Tomar by Submission (Armbar) at 
4:07 minutes of round 1
Women’s atomweight bout: Mei Yamaguchi defeats Gina Iniong by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Lightweight bout: Arnaud LePont defeats Richard Corminal by Submission (Arm Triangle) at 
3:16 minutes of round 1
Catchweight bout (69.4kg): Muhammad Aiman defeats Yang Fei by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Strawweight bout: Miao Li Tao defeats Sim Bunsrun by TKO (strikes) at 1:49 minutes of round 1
In case you missed the action log on to http://www.onefc.com/livestream for the full replay of the fights at only US $9.99.

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​​Ben Askren Vows to Put Swedish Foe in Wrestling Clinic

Even though there are many combat practices in mixed martial arts, undefeated ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren stands firm on the notion that wrestling is the most vital discipline in the sport.
In the constantly-evolving arena of martial arts, many competitors and coaches are still striving to discover what training formula results in consistent success.
Wrestling has been often regarded as the best foundation in the sport as numerous wrestlers transitioned easily into the sport, including Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Daniel Cormier, Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell and Frankie Edgar.
Throughout the course of mixed martial arts history, wrestlers have shared the cage with other practitioners on numerous occasions.
In the current state of the sport, wrestling has become a necessary requirement for combatants to extensively learn.
“If you’re going to ask a lot of the mixed martial artists, they’re going to say that wrestling is the number one martial art to learn,” Askren said.
Askren is highly regarded for his outstanding wrestling background that earned him two NCAA Division I national championship trophies and the privilege to represent the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
While many children were motivated to first pick up a basketball because of Michael Jordan or kick a soccer ball because of David Beckham, Askren was a little different.
Growing up in the Midwestern United States, a region traditionally known as a hotbed for amateur wrestling, Askren was motivated by the spirit of competition and wanted to participate in a sport where he could be the master of his own fate.
“What really attracted me to wrestling was it was a one-on-one sport, and you make or break your destiny. I did not like to let other people control my destiny. I wanted to be in control of my own destiny. I wanted it to be my fault if I won, or my fault if I lost, so I guess I had a hard time with other people having control over my outcomes,” he shared.
Askren had long planned switch to mixed martial arts and conquer that sport once he hung up his wrestling boots.
Following his 2008 Olympic campaign, Askren made the transition and has flawlessly translated his impeccable grappling skills into his growing skillset.
The 33-year-old American has been perfect in competition, amassing an immaculate professional record of 16-0 with 1 no contest en route to becoming the ONE Welterweight World Champion.
“Being a champion is more than wearing a gold belt around your waist,. It is a lot about how you live, and a lot about how you affect others around you by the way you live and train,” Askren explained.
Askren plans to show everyone just how good he is once again on Saturday, 2 September when he defends his ONE Welterweight World Championship against Swedish contender Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam in the main event of ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI, which takes place at the 15,000-capacity Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China.
A tall order is in front of Askren as unlike the Olympian’s previous opponents, Kadestam is armed with a dangerous striking game as he possesses a top-shelf Muay Thai skillset with knockout power.
Kadestam made headlines last May when he defeated Santos as the little-known Swede had been completely dominated in the opening two rounds of the contest before pulling off a miraculous knockout in the final stanza.
Askren admitted that Kadestam’s shocking conquest of Santos nearly five months ago caught his attention.
“He is tough and he is durable, and that showed in the match with Santos. He took some hard shots, but stayed in there and kept competing,” he said of the Swedish standout.
Although he stakes his undefeated record and the coveted ONE Welterweight World Championship title against a dangerous foe like Kadestam, Askren believes there is nothing his opponent can do that will prepare him for what is about to come.
“It does not matter what my opponent’s strengths and weaknesses are because at the end of the day, I have got the trump card. He cannot stop my wrestling, then he is going to be on his back, and he is going to get beaten up,” he declared.
“I will come across the cage, I will grab you, I will put you on your back, and I will punch you until you ask the referee to stop me from doing so. The other option is that I am going to make you tap,” Askren added.
For the past eight years, dating back to his professional debut in February 2009, his unstoppable strategy has worked brilliantly for Askren, who does not see any reason to stray from his strength.
“I am really effective at what I do. I never made a secret of it, and I always played to my strengths, and that is something a lot of people get away from. They do not play to their strengths, and I always play to my strengths, and I have been very focused and determined on what I do. So far, it has worked out well,” he stressed.
With his superb wrestling pedigree, Askren plans to exhibit another masterful performance as he shares the ONE Championship cage with a ferocious striker like Kadestam.
“Although Zebaztian Kadestam might be an underdog, I am not taking this match lightly. I know the feeling. I’ve been in that situation. Nobody should write off an underdog. But this is what I can assure. Wrestling has always been my bread-and-butter. Once I get you on the mat, it’s a matter of seconds before I finish you,” he guaranteed.

​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit http://www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

Take a Look at the MMA Superstar Ben "Funky" Askren’s Intruiging Stats Data

By The Numbers: Ben Askren



American stalwart Ben Askren needed less than four years to conquer ONE Championship and become the biggest star in the constantly-growing world of martial arts.
Known by the moniker “Funky,” Askren made an impact in his first two assignments in ONE Championship, submitting Bakhtiyar Abbasov with an arm-triangle choke in his May 2014 promotional debut before thwarting Nobutatsu Suzuki in the first round to claim the organization’s coveted welterweight crown three months later.
Askren is coming off a spectacular first-round submission triumph over Malaysia’s Agilan “The Alligator” Thani this past May, keeping his immaculate record intact and the ONE Welterweight World Championship belt around his waist
As he has morphed into a fully formed combat sports superstar, Askren has compiled his share of intriguing statistical data.
2
For nearly seven years, a prestigious gold-plated strap has been closely associated with Askren as he has never lost a world title contest since outpointing Lyman Good for the Bellator welterweight belt in October 2010.
Askren made history when he unified Bellator’s 170-pound’s top prize with the ONE Welterweight World Championship by pulling off a first-round demolition of Suzuki in August 2014.
“I’ve held two belts. I’ve never lost them, and I’ve held them for a combined six years, which is a very, very long championship reign by anyone’s account,” he said,
16
Askren made the transition to mixed martial arts and has flawlessly translated his impeccable grappling skills into his growing skillset.
The 33-year-old American has been perfect in competition, amassing an immaculate professional record of 16-0 with 1 no contest en route to becoming the ONE Welterweight World Champion.
“16 is the number of times I’ve stepped in the cage, and I’ve never taken a loss. I think I am one of the best in the world, and I think it also says a lot about the consistency I bring. I bring a great performance every single time I step in the cage,” Askren explained.
In his eight-year run as a professional martial artist, Askren owns five submission victories and four knockout triumphs.
87
Askren is highly regarded for his outstanding wrestling background that earned him two NCAA Division I national championship trophies and the privilege to represent the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
While many children were motivated to first pick up a basketball because of Michael Jordan or kick a soccer ball because of David Beckham, Askren was a little different.
Growing up in the Midwestern United States, a region traditionally known as a hotbed for amateur wrestling, Askren was motivated by the spirit of competition and wanted to participate in a sport where he could be the master of his own fate.
During his illustrious college wrestling stint, Askren won 87 matches in a row, which made him one of the best grapplers in the collegiate ranks.
153
Askren finished his collegiate wrestling career with a record of 153–8, with 91 of those victories coming by way of fall. Those 91 pins put him at third on the all-time NCAA Division I pins list.
Even though there are many combat practices in mixed martial arts, Askren stands firm on the notion that wrestling is the most vital discipline in the sport.
Wrestling has been often regarded as the best foundation in the sport as numerous wrestlers transitioned easily into the sport, including Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Daniel Cormier and Frankie Edgar.
Throughout the course of the sport’s history, wrestlers have shared the cage with other practitioners on numerous occasions.
In the current state of the sport, wrestling has become a necessary requirement for combatants to extensively learn.
“If you’re going to ask a lot of the mixed martial artists, they’re going to say that wrestling is the number one martial art to learn,” Askren stated.
108,000
Askren is universally recognized as one of the best welterweights today and one of the best professional martial artists in the world pound-for-pound.
The undefeated ONE Welterweight World Champion has been all over the globe, competing in countries such as the United States, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.
Since being part of the ONE Championship roster, Askren has travelled 108,000 kilometers for the promotion’s blockbuster events.
“I really enjoy travelling. My trips to Asia have been a pleasure for me. I always enjoy seeing new cultures and learning new things,” Askren stressed.
Askren will be entering a new territory on Saturday, 2 September when he defends his ONE Welterweight World Championship against Swedish contender Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam in the main event of ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI, which takes place at the 15,000-capacity Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China.

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Kadestam Reveals Being an Underdog Only Gives Extra Drive to Win in Clash Against Askren

​​Kadestam relishes underdog role against Askren, looks to shock the world again

While many cageside observers are counting out Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam in his ONE Welterweight World Championship clash against longtime division kingpin Ben “Funky” Askren, the Swedish standout revealed that his underdog role gives him the extra drive to have his hand raised in triumph.
Kadestam faces Askren in the main event of ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI, which takes place at the 15,000-capacity Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China on 2 September.
Competing for the first time in a world title contest, the 26-year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden stressed that being an underdog in the five-round welterweight championship encounter with Askren heightens his hunger to walk away with the gold-plated strap around his waist.

“It’s good to be an underdog because it boosts my motivation to win. When you’re an underdog, others believe that you have a small chance to win. But in some instances, some competitors use it as an extra drive in their fights,” Kadestam said.

For the second-straight time under the ONE Championship banner, Kadestam will be sitting in the blue corner, where underdogs or challengers are designated in a match.
Although Kadestam was representing the blue corner, he won his last cage outing, making a successful promotional debut last May when he defeated top welterweight contender Luis “Sapo” Santos of Brazil by way of third-round knockout.

“Blue is a lucky color for me this year. I have no problem if I will be in the blue or red corner. What matters right now is that I’m vying for the world title, and I am going to give everything to capture the belt,” Kadestam stated.

Kadestam’s astounding victory over Santos swiftly earned him a world title opportunity as he is set to lock horns with the toughest opponent of his professional career in Askren.
Kadestam made headlines when he defeated Santos at ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES in Singapore nearly four months ago.
The incredible feat was especially impressive because the little-known Swede had been completely dominated in the opening two rounds of the contest before pulling off a miraculous knockout in the final stanza.
Kadestam turned the tide midway of the third round by sprawling a sluggish takedown attempt from the Brazilian, then reversed position, and hammered his opponent with strikes from side control.
A pair of hard knees put the finishing touches as the referee stepped in to call a halt to the contest at 2:18 of the third and final frame.

“I do not think I have ever fought like that before. I was waiting and waiting because I could feel his power, especially in the first two minutes. He had power in everything. He was fast in his hands and knees. My plan was to attack a lot more, but I could also see him gas early,” Kadestam shared.

Following his scintillating performance against Santos, Kadestam vows to shock the world once more as he shares the ONE Championship cage with Askren, who is universally recognized as one of the best welterweights in the world today with an immaculate record of 16-0.

“I am no pushover. I am not someone’s footstool. On September 2nd, I will once again shock the world. Ben Askren is only a man, and he is beatable. The belt will soon be mine,” he declared.

With less than two week to go before the biggest bout in his prizefighting stint, Kadestam did not mince words about his excitement as his dream to become a world champion is within his reach.


“The bigger the obstacle, the greater the glory. He is at the top. I want in. I am here to fulfill my destiny,” he concluded.

​For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit http://www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.