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Askren ready for Aleksakhin and would ‘love to beat up Luis Santos’

Jim Edwards

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Speaking to Jim Edwards of MMA Latest today, the ONE FC welterweight champion Ben Askren reiterated he was happy continuing to ply his trade in the organisation and revealed he still had several fights left on his fight contract with the Asian promotion:

“After my fight in April, I’ve got five fights left and I’m really happy with ONE,” said Askren.

“I’ve got quite a few fights left on my contract. ONE is growing rapidly and I’m sure they are going to continue to sign fighters for me to fight.”

Askren will next compete in ONE FC on April 15th when he takes on Nikolay Aleksakhin in the main event at ONE FC’s ‘Global Rivals’ show. Askren is expecting a tough test from the Russian who is riding a six-fight win streak and has a professional record of 17-3-0:

“He has a combat sambo background so the first guy I fought in ONE was a world combat sambo so I think I have a decent idea of what to expect,” said Askren.

He added: “I’m excited to get in the cage and fight. It’s all good fighting in the Philippines, that’s where I fought last year and I actually owe the Philippines fans a good performance. Unfortunately, they had to watch the eye-poke and it just wasn’t a good way to end the night of fights.”

Askren was referencing his last ONE FC fight against Luis Santos which ended in a no contest back in April last year following an eye poke that forced the referee to stop the fight. The two were meant to meet again in a rematch in November, however, Luis Santos failed to make the weight and then refused the catchweight agreement that Askren offered him. While Askren was none to impressed by the Brazilian’s conduct, he would still love to fight Santos if ONE FC put him in front of him:

“I would love to fight him [Luis Santos}, but I’ve said to ONE that they would have to have a backup opponent ready in case he pulled any shenanigans like last time. I would make sure they had some willing and able to fight at short notice.”

He later added: “I would love to beat up Luis Santos – if he would actually show up. I would imagine that would be next on my docket after this.”

When Askren does compete next in April, he will be competing in his first fight since ONE FC made changes to their weight divisions. The organisation were the first in the world to take radical steps to lessen the stress on the fighters who had previously had to ‘cut weight’ in order to meet the weight limits of the class they competed in. Askren was full of praise for the new system and explained it in detail:

“They actually renamed the 185lbs division to welterweight [previously middleweight], because they are now measuring your walk around weight now which is really cool,” said Askren.

“They are the first promotion to go exclusively to this format so you weigh-in the day of the fight and then you have to pass a urine test to prove you are hydrated.

“I think it’s unique, I think it’s good and I think frankly, my weight where I have to cut to 170lbs from 183-185lbs, which is what I would walk around every day at, means it’s just exactly the same thing for me. I’ve just got to walk around hydrated at 183-185lbs and that’s what I always planned on doing for my fights so I think we are good to go.”

Askren ended the interview by stating his plans for the rest of the year:

“I’m trying fight three times this year and ONE said they were going to make it happen. I’ve not fought three times in a year since 2010so it’s been a while. I’m just excited to just get in the cage and stay active because this is what I do for a living and I just want to do it as frequently as possible.”

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*WATCH* DaveNoseMMA – Aljamain Sterling Knockout Aftermath

Harry Davies

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In this video, MMA Latest’s Dave Noseworthy shares his thoughts on Marlon Moraes’ brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling that took place this past weekend at UFC Fresno.

Check out Dave’s thoughts below:

 

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Fight Announcements

Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220

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UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)

Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:

“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.

The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.

If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.

Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.

UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.

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Events

Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview

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Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.

LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.

Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.

Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)

The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.

In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.

Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.

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