The funky one is looking for another dominant title bout win at Bellator 56. | Photo: Keith Mills
Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren (www.twitter.com/BenAskren) will blog his thoughts and experiences for Sherdog.com as he prepares to defend his 170-pound title against Season 4 tournament winner Jay Hieron at Bellator 56 in Kansas City, Kan. Bellator 56 takes place this Saturday, Oct. 29, on MTV2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
I hit the road to Kansas City today. My in-laws actually live there, so I decided to arrive a few days early to get the drive out of the way. After the fight, I am going to stop by Columbia, Mo., and check out my old stomping grounds and maybe stop by a few wrestling practices as the Mizzou team gets ready for the upcoming season.
This will be my first fight since I moved back to Milwaukee on Aug. 1, coming home after nine years was a great feeling. I actually just bought a house here, so I feel like this is really my home. Going to a great MMA gym with great coaches and training partners every day is a great feeling. Thinking back on it, my decision to move back home and pursue MMA full-time was a decision that I feel I should have made earlier in my career.
Duke Roufus who is the owner and main coach at Roufusport is about as knowledgeable as a person as you will find on the subject of fighting sports – all fighting sports. Every single day when I go to the gym, I simply know I am going to learn something new to make myself a better fighter.
On top of great coaching, the training partners are awesome and it is a really close knit group, which is an incredible atmosphere to have. Anthony Pettis and Erik Koch were both back in the gym just days after their fights to help me with my fight, because our fights are all that important to one another. I really couldn't really ask for anything more than I am getting at Roufusport right now.
As for my fight this Saturday night, I am really excited. I have been waiting to get my hands on Jay for a while. I feel as though even he is a successful veteran, there is nothing he can do to stop me from doing what I want in this fight, standing or the ground. I have evolved a lot as a fighter at Duke's -- sparring four to six times a week with guys of this caliber will do that to you -- but I haven't forgotten my wrestling roots. Saturday, you can all expect to see a very frustrated and exasperated Jay Hieron as he looks for a way out of the cage in Kansas City.