Someone please hit me, pleads Ben Askren after wiping Zebaztian Kadestam off the floor
Former US Olympian invites any fighter to provide him with a bigger challenge after dominating Swede to stay unbeaten at One Championship
Ben “Funky” Askren’s reign over the One Championship’s welterweight division is set to continue for just as long as the American wants it to, given the way he cast aside the challenge of Sweden’s Zebaztian Kadestam at the Shanghai Oriental Sport Centre on Saturday night.
It took a few seconds for the 33-year-old Askren to get Kadestam in his clutches and then he basically bullied him like a nasty big brother might, raining down the blows at will. The few times the Swede made it upright, it wasn’t long before Askren closed in, and closed him down again and the referee called an end to the punishment at 4.09 of the second round with yet more unanswered blows coming.
Askren moved his career mark to 17-0 with the victory – and then sent out a plea.
“It’s like they taught us at martial arts when we were kids,” said Askren. “It’s not about beating people up, it’s about not being beaten up. But I just wish we could find someone who could hit me. It’s been two fights now and no one’s laid a glove on me.”
It’s hard to know just where the challenge might now come from for Askren, out here in Asia or anywhere for that matter. He’s more MMA monster than man.
It was a brave effort from the Swede (now 9-4) – no doubt – but as so often has been the case when it comes to fighting Askren, resistance proved futile.
Behind the main event, rising Singaporean star Amir Khan extended his winning streak to five bouts, throwing everything he had at Jaroslav Jartim before a left knee spun the Czech fighter smack bang into Khan’s follow-up right hook at 3.46 of the first round. And that was that.
The 22-year-old Khan (8-2) recently put his national service behind him and things are shaping up nicely now that he can focus his full attention – and all his time – on mixed martial arts. The young man’s confidence is growing nicely at the same time, as he post-fight comments showed.
“I was just kind of feeling him out in the first round and before the fight we were working on that combination so I’m glad it worked out,” said Khan. “Now I’m coming for that lightweight title belt.”
Let’s hope current One lightweight champ Eduard Folayang (18-5) was watching back home in the Philippines – and rises to the bait. The fireworks just might fly.
There was plenty for the sold-out stadium to cheer all night as the One organisation made its debut in Shanghai, and tapped into China’s growing band of MMA fighters across the nine-bout card.
Victories for five Chinese fighters on show had the people on their feet and the most impressive of those wins came via flyweight prospect Ma “The Southern Eagle” Hao Bin, the 23-year-old taking his record to 7-1 with his win over Hexigetu (4-3).
Ma brought “The Wolf of the Grasslands” to the mat with about two minutes gone in the second and laid on a guillotine choke, which brought the tap.
“I only had 10 days to prepare for the fight, so Iam very happy,” said Ma. “One day I want to be champion.”