Woodley: Askren Can Beat Khabib & GSP
The MMA world was hit with a shock this week when a deal was reportedly struck that’d see the UFC trade Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship in exchange for Ben Askren.
Many in the MMA community are eager to see the Octagon debut of Askren, considered one of the best to never step foot in the UFC. One of those most excited — UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley.
Before either was an MMA fighter, Woodley and Askren were wrestling teammates at the University of Missouri. They reunited while training under Duke Roufus in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“I’m happy for my homie Ben Askren, he’s one of the best fighters in the world,” Woodley said during an Instagram live session. “Not just UFC, not just Bellator, not just ONE FC, he’s had a remarkable career combatively. I would consider wrestling a combative sport as well. Four-time finalist in the NCAAs, [two-time] champ, only lost to two individuals ever in collegiate wrestling, made an Olympic team. He really revolutionized scrambling or as he calls it ‘funk.’ Phenomenal guy, my wrestling coach, obviously my teammate.”
In the wake of the trade’s announcement, Askren took to Twitter to call out a plethora of fighters — mainly those who compete at lightweight and welterweight. In particular, Askren challenged former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who Askren has been hoping to fight for years. He also challenged current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov via the social media platform, suggesting he could humble the Dagestani champion.
GSP hasn’t competed since winning the UFC Middleweight Title at UFC 217 last year. If he were to come back, a GSP-Askren clash is more likely, as it’s doubtful Askren would drop to 155 (he and GSP have both competed at 170 for most of their career). Askren, however, did suggest his arrival could spark the arrival of the rumored 165-pound UFC weight division, which could increase a chance at Khabib-Askren.
Woodley suggests if either of those fights were to happen, Askren would have no problem running through either man.
“GSP would never stand a chance against Ben,” Woodley said. “Ben thrives against guys’ offensive onslaughts and GSP’s whole thing was always timing. If you ever see some video a long time ago, Ben Askren grappling against Jake Shields and I’m going to tell you this one thing — the highlights of the video were not on that video. Ben is just on a different level.
“Khabib is a ‘G’ but Khabib ain’t never fought nobody like Ben. He never fought anybody like Ben, he ain’t never fought nobody like Michael Chandler. Those guys would wreck him on life. Chandler’s intensity is more, his striking is better. Ben doesn’t have the same intensity but his style is not one of intensity.
[Askren’s] style is one of scrambling, one of static strength, one of consistency, pressure, and ground and pound is ridiculous, jiu-jitsu is ridiculous, wrestling is ridiculous. His ability to get in close and put himself into positions where he’s going to be successful is bar none some of the best I’ve ever seen.
Original Story: MMAnytt