SINGAPORE: Former Olympian Ben Askren proved the superiority of his wrestling skills over sambo fighter Bakhtiyar Abbasov by beating the latter through submission in the first round of the main event of One Fighting Championship Honor and Glory on Friday at the jam-packed Singapore Indoor Stadium here.
Abbasov initiated an explosive takedown but the former Bellator welterweight champion Askren neutralized the onslaught before setting up his foe for a triangle choke with still 4:21 left in the first round.
“He [Abbasov] wanted to outwrestle me from the start and he’s lucky enough to score a take down, but I won’t let him ruin my debut [in One FC],” said the 29-year-old Askren, who remains unbeaten in 13 fights with four of his wins by submission and three by knockout.
“You don’t go into the spider’s web because you are going to get beat down. What was he thinking? I don’t know. Try to take me down again,” added Askren.
Abassov’s record fell to 11-3.
After the fight, Askren announced a message for One FC welterweight champion Nobutatsu Suzuki of Japan.
“Funky Ben had a great time in Asia. He loves the Singapore fans. Funky Ben is coming back to Asia,” he said. “Suzuki is going to bring me my belt. He can put it right in the middle of the cage and give it to me, or I can take it the hard way.”
In the other bouts, lightweight Vincent Latoel (15-14-2) of The Netherlands claimed the biggest upset of the night by knocking out Singapore fan favorite Eddie Ng (7-2) with 3:16 left in the first round, lone Filipino bet Honorio “The Rock” Banario (8-4) was defeated by Mongolian fighter Narantungalag Jadambaa (9-3) via unanimous decision, former lightweight Strikeforce fighter American Caros Fodor stopped Willy Ni of The Netherlands with a Kimura lock midway through the first round while his compatriot featherweight Major Overall scored a first round knockout win over Brazilian Bruno Pucci, Malaysian Nick Harris won by split decision against American Brad Robinson, American Casey Suire won via submission against Singaporean Stephen Langdown, Radeem Rahman of Singapore won via referee stoppage over Raymond Tan of Malaysia.
The heavyweight bout between Chi Lewis Parry of United Kingdom and Alain Ngalani of Cameroon ended in no-contest because of the former’s accidental kick to Ngalani’s groin that prompted the referee to stop the bout.
Chinese bantamweight Ji Xian, meanwhile, cancelled his fight with Australian Than Vu after he failed to meet the weight requirement.