Although Ben Askren remains a free agent, ever since Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney relayed they might not offer the welterweight champ a new contract, discussions regarding “Funky’s” prospects in the UFC have shot up. Of course, a big reason why is that Askren’s as candid as they come, and he’s never been shy about the fact he believes he can beat any 170ér on the planet. Having Dana White say the UFC is interesting in talking to the 12-0 fighter doesn’t hurt either.
Now, it’s no secret that Askren’s tremendous success to date is founded upon his renowned wrestling game, which UFC champ Georges St. Pierre has drawn considerable praise for over the years as well. So what does Askren think of GSP’s wrestling skills? Which frequently are cited as the best in MMA? The 29 year-old recently told Sherdog.com the following (transcription via MMA Mania.com).
“The notion that he’s the best wrestler is insane to me. 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. If Johny Hendricks is training his wrestling, which that’s a mistake that a lot of wrestlers make is they get out of it and they think they got to get better at striking and jiu jitsu and they totally forget about their wrestling. I did that for a couple of months earlier in my career and I learned. But they totally step away from wrestling and they get so rusty and they lose a lot of those battles. If Johny Hendricks is staying on point and getting some wrestling in, which hopefully he’s smart enough to do, he’ll definitely outwrestle Georges St. Pierre.”
That’s definitely one of the many interesting storylines tied to GSP-Hendricks, and if St. Pierre takes Hendricks down repeatedly on November 16th, that would be another big feather in the champ’s cap. As far as Askren, he also relayed that if he ends up signing with the UFC, he would like to fight GSP first, since there’s no “real cut challenger” after Hendricks. Chances are, however, that the UFC would probably book Askren to fight a top ten welterweight first no?