Why is Ben Askren Retiring?

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At 33 years of age, ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren is heading into retirement from actively fighting.

Askren will fight Evolve teammate Shinya Aoki at ONE: Immortal Pursuit on Friday in his final trip to the cage. Thirty-three seems to be awfully young for an athlete at the pinnacle of his career to walk away, but Askren has a very good reason for doing so.

TRENDING > ONE Championship Boss: ‘We’ve crushed (the UFC in Asia), completely crushed them’

Before he steps into the cage for the final time, Askren spoke to MMAWeekly.com about his reason for retiring, discussed who might be able to draw him back to the cage, and dished a little bit on a fighter he likes that he also believes has stuck around a bit too long.

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Source: MMA Weekly

UFC Shanghai: Bisping vs. Gastelum Live Weigh-in, Friday at 6 am ET

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Watch the UFC Fight Night Shanghai official weigh-in on Friday, November 24 at 6 am ET / 3am PT live from Shanghai, China.

TRENDING > Ben Askren: Dana White is a Freaking Scumbag

Follow along on MMAWeekly.com for full UFC Fight Night 122: Bisping vs. Gastelum Live Results and Fight Stats. The first fight is scheduled to begin at 3:45 am ET / 12:45 am PT on Saturday, November 25.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Nicco Montano Out Muscles Barb Honchak (TUF 26 Fight Highlights)

Nicco Montano pulled off one of the biggest upsets in TUF history to advance to the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion. Check out the fight highlights.

TRENDING > Kelvin Gastelum Sees Himself ‘Demolishing’ Michael Bisping

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Michael Bisping: ‘I’m Fighting Myself in this Fight’

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Less than three weeks removed from an unforgettable, but disappointing title fight at UFC 217, Michael Bisping is grateful for the opportunity to get back in the Octagon and back to his winning ways this Saturday, November 25 at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs Gastelum on UFC FIGHT PASS.

TRENDING > ONE Championship Boss: ‘We’ve crushed (the UFC in Asia), completely crushed them’

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Biggest Upset in TUF History Lands Underdog In Finals

Episode 11 of The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion featured arguably the biggest upset in the show’s history. No. 14 seed Nicco Montano entered the 16-woman tournament coming off a loss and with a 3-2 record. She faced former Invicta FC flyweight champion Barb Honchak in the semifinals and defeated the overall No. 2 seed.

During TUF 24, Eric Shelton was a No. 15 seed and defeated No. 2 seed Yoni Sherbatov in the opening round. Sherbatov was the Xcessive Force Fighting Championship flyweight titleholder, but Honchak was the former world champion. The Invicta FC flyweight title was the women’s 125-pound world championship. While Shelton may have technically been seeded lower than Montano, her win over Honchak was the biggest upset in TUF history.

The Fight: Barb Honchak vs. Nicco Montano

Honchak’s right hand was finding a home early in the opening round, but she chose to engage Montano in the clinch.  Montano out muscled Honchak as the two exchanged knees to the body.  When the two separated, Honchak landed a combination but quickly found herself back in the clinch. Montano tossed Honchak to the canvas and spent the final 90 seconds of the round in dominant position on the ground landing heavy shots. 

TRENDING > Ben Askren: Dana White is a Freaking Scumbag

Montano pressured Honchak in the second frame.  She closed the distance and put the former Invicta FC champion against the cage.  She overpowered Honchak and delivered knees to the legs and torso.  Honchak circled free and landed two right hands before looking to take the fight to the ground.  Montano defended the takedown attempt and drove knees into Honchack’s midsection.  The two separated and Honchak won the striking exchanges.  In the final seconds of the round, Honchak scored a takedown and landed in side control. 

Honchak landed two hard right hands to start the final frame.  Montano responded with a head kick that was caught by Honchak.  Honchak tried to kick out Montano’s leg but ended up giving up her back.  Montano worked to lock on a rear-naked choke, but Honchak defended the submission attempt.  She scrambled back to her feet but continued to look for takedowns.  In the closing seconds of the fight, Montano changed levels and put Honchak on her back.  The judges scored the fight for Montano by unanimous decision.  Two judges scored her winning all three rounds.  

“I did what I came here to do and it’s just awesome.  I’m super grateful and thankful,” said Montano after the win.  

“I’m disappointed.  Nicco is super tough, and she’s good and she’s talented.  I’m proud of myself for getting as far as I did,” said Honchak following the loss.  “It’s still in me.  I still have improvements to make.  I’m still learning.  I’m still getting better.  I’m still getting stronger.”   

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Source: MMA Weekly

ONE Championship Boss: ‘We’ve crushed (the UFC in Asia), completely crushed them’

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While the UFC has struggled to gain a foothold in Asian markets, in just six short years, ONE Championship has become the top fight promotion in the Eastern world.

As the head of ONE Championship, Chatri Sityodtong, has had some harsh words for the UFC, but they are not without warrant. Aside from the UFC not seeming to comprehend the culture in Asian markets, Sityodtong says that the MMA juggernaut of the Western world has been disrespectful not only to ONE Championship, but Asia and Asians in general.

“MMA is the bloodsport aspect (of martial arts) that the West has promoted. Martial arts is really what Asians promote,” Sityodtong told MMAWeekly.com.

TRENDING > Ben Askren: Dana White is a Freaking Scumbag

“If I have strong words for the UFC, it’s because they came (to Singapore) last year and were very disrespectful to Asia, Asians, and ONE Championship. That’s not the best way to market yourself if you’re a foreign property.

“We’ve crushed them, completely crushed them.”

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Source: MMA Weekly

Ben Askren’s Final Face-Off Before He Steps into Cage for the Last Time (Video)

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Welterweight champion Ben Askren will make his final walk to the cage at ONE Championship: Immortal Pursuit, where he will fight Evolve MMA teammate and lightweight titleholder Shinya Aoki.

At the pre-figth press conference, Askren and Aoki faced off for what should be Askren’s final staredown, barring any comeback fights.

TRENDING > Ben Askren: Dana White is a Freaking Scumbag

Askren and Aoki step into the ONE Championship cage at Immortal Pursuit on Friday in Singapore.

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Ben Askren: Dana White is a Freaking Scumbag

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Ben Askren was on the rise to the top of Western world in MMA as Bellator’s longtime welterweight champion. When his time with Bellator ran its course, Askren didn’t flee to the UFC, he went halfway around the world to fight for ONE Championship, leaving the familiarity of fighting in America behind.

But why?

The answer is quite simple, really. Because he didn’t want to work for Dana White.

“That guy’s a freaking scumbag,” Askren told MMAWeekly.com ahead of the final fight of his career.

TRENDING > Shinya Aoki Thinks Going an Entire Career Undefeated Would be Dull

Askren steps into the ONE Championship cage as the promotion’s welterweight champion for the final time on Friday in Singapore, where he will fight Evolve MMA teammate and ONE lightweight titleholder Shinya Aoki. Following the fight, Askren will step aside and take up a position with the promotion where he will end his career. 

But first, Askren shed some light on why he chose to spend the final years of his career in Asia, and what pulled him away from the UFC and to ONE Championship.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Kelvin Gastelum Sees Himself ‘Demolishing’ Michael Bisping

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Hear from Kelvin Gastelum before he takes on former middleweight champion Michael Bisping this Saturday at Fight Night Shanghai.

TRENDING > Miesha Tate Explains Why Holly Holm Can Beat Cris Cyborg at UFC 219

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Watch Alistair Overeem Bust Up Junior Dos Santos in the UFC Knockout of the Week

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Watch Alistair Overeem bust up Junior Dos Santos in the UFC Knockout of the Week. Overeem next steps into the Octagon opposite Francis Ngannou at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit, with a possible heavyweight title shot on the line.

TRENDING > Dana White Explains Why Deal with Netflix Fell Through

This Saturday, follow along with MMAWeekly.com for UFC Fight Night 122: Bisping vs. Gastelum Live Results and Fight Stats from Shanghai, China, where Michel Bisping and Kelvin Gastelum square off in the main event. It’s an early one in the U.S., as the first fight is slated for 3:45 a.m. ET / 12:45 a.m. PT.

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Source: MMA Weekly