Askren Considers Thompson ‘Over the Hill’

By Staff Apr 7, 2011
By the time Ben Askren (Pictured) began fighting in 2009, Nick Thompson had already won more than 35 bouts. His best days are behind him, though, according to Askren.

“[Thompson] hasn’t won a real big fight in a while,” Askren said recently on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “In addition to that, I don’t really feel like he’s probably been training that hard. I feel like I can go in there and dominate [and] really win everywhere. Not just with my wrestling. I can win with my jiu-jitsu and then once I take him down and tenderize him a little bit, I can win the standup too because he’s not going to be the same person he was after he gets up.”

The two meet Saturday at Bellator 40 in Newkirk, Okla. Askren, Bellator’s welterweight champion, is 7-0 in MMA. While he doesn’t have Thompson’s experience in fighting, he does have an impressive wrestling resume, including two NCAA championships and a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic freestyle team.

Asked what Thompson brings to the table that he’ll have to worry about, Askren answered, “Not a lot.”

“The one thing -- I won’t get in a boxing match with him,” Askren added. “Like I said, if I do stand up with him, it will be after I tenderize him for a few minutes and he won’t be the same person that he was at the beginning of the fight. He’ll be a much weaker and worn down opponent.”

With that said, Askren did credit Thompson as a veteran of the game. He expects Thompson to have a few tricks, including some submission attempts.

“He’s obviously won a lot of fights,” Askren said. “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. I’m not really worried about that. … I think he’s over the hill. I don’t think he’s got great cardio. He’s probably cutting too much weight, which all leads me to believe he’s going to try to throw a few hard punches, and after that it’s going to be money in the bank for me.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:34:30).
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