2008 Olympian Ben Askren during a recent Sherdog radio interview about Eddie Alvarez not finishing off Pat Curran last Saturday at Bellator 39. Askren forcefully defended the reigning Bellator Lightweight champion.
“I thought he was fairly aggressive. As MMA goes on, people are going to get tougher and tougher and tougher and everyone’s getting harder to finish. In the past, the levels of fighters have been so far apart but now as everyone gets better it’s going to get closer and closer, it’s going to be harder to finish fights.”
He believes that winning is the primary objective and that fighters who fight for bonuses (like the Leonard Garcias, the Chris Lytles, the Jorge Gurgels of the world) are losers.
“I think people like that are losers because, in my mind, a fight’s about winning, not about putting on a show. We’re not singers, we’re not actors, we are Mixed Martial Artists or fighters or athletes, whichever way you wanna do it and that’s about winning ... When you’re fighting for 25 minutes, every fan and their mother can talk shit about this and that and don’t finish fights. Well, why don’t they get in there and fight for 25 minutes? That’s a long time. And you got to win before you show. I mean, people that show on top of winning, say Anderson Silva, that dude now he’s a showman but he’s also won, what, 13 fights in a row? So, obviously, he can do it. And there’s people like Leonard Garcia who goes out and puts on a show but he’s like 3-5 in his last 8 fights. Like, c’mon dude.”
Askren was doing the media rounds to promote his upcoming fight on Saturday night against Nick Thompson. Suffice to say, Ben’s not into the entertainment thing because rather than try to build up the fight, he destroyed Thompson throughout the interview as an opponent that poses no threat of winning their fight.
“I really don’t believe he brings a lot. The one thing, you know, I won’t get in a boxing match with him. Like I said, if I do stand-up with him it’ll be after I tenderize him for a few minutes and he won’t be the same person that we was at the beginning of the fight. He’ll be a much weaker, worn-down opponent. Other than that, I’ll know he’ll try to go for a sneaky submission here and there, he is a veteran, he’s obviously won a lot of fights, I think he’s won 38 fights so obviously he does a few things well. But I’ve been grappling with a lot of black belts and I know I’m a very difficult person to submit, so I’m not really worried about that. I don’t think he’s been training that hard, I think he’s over the hill, I don’t think he’s got great cardio, he’s probably cutting too much weight which leads me to believe that he’s going to come out and try to throw a few hard punches and, after that, it’s money in the bank for me.”
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