Ben Askren vs 61-9 Luis Santos at ONE Championship: Valor of Champions, Manila.


Hello MMA Fighting Fans!

Thrilled to tell you about my personal favorite promotion ONE Championship happening this Friday that features one of the most compelling & polarizing fighters in the entire world, USA Olympian Ben Askren, and I've included several videos & links for your enjoyment.


FRIDAY...Top10 P4P Welterweight & ONE World Champion Ben "Funky" Askren faces 61-9 Luis "Sapo" Santos at ONE FC 26: Valor of Champions in Manila, Philippines.

Will Askren be able to keep his 4 Fight Finishing Streak alive and continue his undefeated reign in MMA?

Will Santos be able to use ONE FC's Global Ruleset that allows PRIDErules (soccerkicks & knees to grounded opponents) to pull a Buster Douglas move & shock the world?

Tune in & find out at the only World Title Fight in Manila this year.

ONE Champion Ben Askren is a 2x Hodge Trophy Winning Olympian (one of only 2 men EVER to accomplish that), and is the best wrestler in the Welterweight Division & arguably the #1 Welterweight Fighter on the planet. Askren's unique, unorthodox "funky" wrestling could give any fighter in the world problems to deal with.

UFC Legend & ONE Championship Vice President Rich "Ace" Franklin agrees.

Check out this video of Ace's take on the fight:

Rich Franklin is one of the classiest fighters of all time and I'm personally thrilled that ONE Championship has brought him on board. I'd also like to say I really appreciate the time he took to answer my questions during one of the many Q & A sessions he does for fans on Facebook & Twitter.

Ben "Funky" Askren is currently on a 4 Fight Finishing Streak, including over Bellator Tournament Champion Andrey Koreshkov, and is far from boring as some say. Askren has developed his MMA skills nicely and is now able to TKO or Submit fighters almost at will to compliment his world class wrestling.

Askren is Top5 Ranked on multiple sites (LINKS: MMAjunkie, ESPN) and undefeated with wins over current Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima & Top15 Ranked (at the time) fighters Jay Hieron & Dan Hornbuckle (LINKS: SB Nation and FightMatrix).

Strikeforce veterans just beat UFC fighters on FOX last Friday (including over UFC former Champion Lyoto Machida) further supporting the claim that there was/is some good talent in other promotions besides just UFC, so it is perfectly reasonable for one to look at Askren's elite skillset & accolades and assess that he is one of the very best welterweights in the entire world.

Check out my favorite hype video for Askren. It's short & very well made and has my favorite Askren quote at the end of it:

"Yeah, my strategy every time, I walk across the cage, I grab this man, I throw him on the ground, and I keep on punching him till the ref says stop it."

The Funky One's 4 Fight Finishing Streak also proves he's not a boring fighter either, in fact, he's one of my favorite fighters to watch because of his unique "funky" wrestling, and also of course his hilarious mouth that's made him one of the most entertaining heels in the industry.

Askren's unorthodox, "funky" wrestling is not the same as the typical wrestling you're used to seeing in today's MMA. It is totally unique and constantly active (now with TKO striking) & includes all kinds of "funky" trips, takedowns, guard passes & reversals that you need to see to believe. It is fascinating to watch, especially if you understand grappling.

I'm personally looking forward to seeing if the world renowned EvolveMMA camp has further improved Askren's striking and taught him how to utilize ONE Championship's Global Rulest that allows GnP-Knees & Soccerkicks.


Here's an awesome 2 minute video on non-stop KO's in ONE FC for your enjoyement that includes some Soccerkick KO's.

Part of Askren's near-7 figure contract with ONE Championship included a deal with EvolveMMA, ONE FC's main partner gym, that has him complete the last several weeks of his training camps at EvolveMMA training & teaching. So not only is he getting paid handsomely, he is also teaching his excellent wrestling skills to all of the ONE Championship EvolveMMA current & future stars. Brilliant move by Chatri Sityodtong & Victor Cui in my opinion.

There are several Team EvolveMMA Fighters on ONE FC: Valor of Champions this Friday.

Mark Streigl in the co-main is Team EvolveMMA and one of the world's Top Filipino fighters. Streigl is 26 years old and has an excellent wrestling background, 9 first round finishes, and victories over some good fighters (Ting, Kwon, Sarmiento, etc.)

Amir Khan is another hot prospect from EvolveMMA. 4-0 as an amateur and 2-1 ONE FC at only 20 years old, he is rated as one of Singapore's best rising prospects.

SB Nation freelance writer James Goyder wrote excellent articles on both fighters (Links: Mark Streigl & Amir Khan) that are worth a read.

Ben Askren himself was training at EvolveMMA this week with ONE Championship Superstar Shinya Aoki.

That upcoming May 22 card mentioned in the tweet above that Shinya Aoki is headlining is worth remembering because it's stacked with some of the best up & coming fighters in the entire world today. I'm surprised ONE FC put so many on a single card to be honest. Look at this May 22 card, here is the link. There are main event worthy fighters on there including a KO of the Year Candidate winner (Nastyukhin), an undefeated American (Tynanes), and a reigning M-1 Global Champion (Gafurov) along with several other excellent fighters. Look for my fanpost article on that event in May. It'll be my pleasure to tell you all about it.




The Challenger, Luis "Sapo" Santos, is a Judo blackbelt, a BJJ blackbelt, and is one of the most vicious strikers in the welterweight division. Santos is 61-9 with 35 KOs & victories over some current UFC fighters (Ivan Jorge, Ildemar Alcantara) and Sapo is currently on a 7 fight winstreak in some of the same leagues the UFC recruits from.

Santos has one of the nicest front kick KO's you will ever see on his resume during that 7 fight winstreak, and I will include it in the .gifs I post for you in the comments section of this article.

Askren better bring his A-game because this will not be just a walk in the park for him. There is a VERY real danger that Askren could lose this fight, especially since it's being fought under ONE Championship's Global Ruleset that doesn't favor wrestlers & evens the playing field for strikers with takedown defense like Sapo.

If Judo blackbelt Santos is able to stuff even one single takedown, Askren could be eating kicks/knees to the face immediately, because there is no "grounded opponent" rule in ONE FC. Askren having a knee down would not matter. Upkicks are allowed at all times as well, so Askren better be aware at all times when he is in Santos' guard.

ONE's Global Ruleset creates a more dynamic fighting environment that will make this one of the most intriguing Title fights of the entire year.

The full ONE FC: Valor of Champions card also features some of the best up & coming Filipino talent for the Manila crowd, all featured in fights they could realistically both win or lose. The matchmaking talent of Matt "The Wizard" Hume is exceptional.

I'm personally looking forward to seeing the two Thai fighters on the card, Anatpong Bunrad & Shannon Wiratchai, because they are both proven exciting and both coming off of sensational soccerkick victories! Here's hoping we see more of the same Friday!


ONE FC 26: Valor of Champions is available on ONE FC's website HERE for the affordable price of only $9.99. That is for a perfect HD stream that includes full replay for 14 days afterwards! The full replay is one of my favorite features about ONE because if you are unable to watch live, you get the entire show on replay anytime you want! With such a low price and awesome features, why illegally stream? Support MMA! Thank You!

As always, Thanks for reading my friends! Enjoy the fights!