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Gunnar Nelson: ‘I’d love to fight [Ben] Askren at some point’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Gunnar Nelson would like to pit his submission skills against the wrestling prowess of Ben Askren at some stage in the future.

Askren was knocked out in a record five seconds from a flying knee delivered by Jorge Masvidal on the main card of UFC 239, but Nelson is one of many who believe that the celebrated wrestler was “lucky” to leave his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler with his undefeated record intact.

“I think he was probably a bit lucky in that fight against Robbie Lawler, I think you’d probably agree with that,” Nelson told MMAFighting’s Eurobash podcast.

“He got caught with some sh*t and then he got that choke that wasn’t really on. The referee thought Robbie was out, but he wasn’t. I think he got an easy out there. It did not look good when stood up after a few [big shots] from Robbie. I don’t know, he looks quite slow.”

Although he wasn’t too complimentary of his debut appearance under the banner, Nelson believes he and Askren would make for an interesting clash of styles should they ever face off in the UFC.

“I think it would be a very exciting matchup. I’d love to fight Askren at some point,” he said.

“He’s a good grappler and he has his own style. I think it would be interesting. He’s done really well, but his striking definitely needs some brushing up. In the grappling department he’s good; he’s good at keeping guys down, beating on them and wearing them out. I don’t think he has my submission skills, but he’s obviously decorated in wrestling. I’ve never competed in wrestling so he’d be really good in that area. It could be very interesting.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Gunnar Nelson interview begins at 37:00.