ONE Championship: Ben Askren Calls Out Promotion’s Middleweight King

Ben Askren
Credit: ONE Championship

ONE Championship welterweight champ “Funky” Ben Askren successfully defended his crown at ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes Friday. Having fought essentially once a year since joining the Asian MMA promotion, Askren wasted no time in setting up his next fight, taking to the mic to call out middleweight champion Vitaly Bigdash.

After defeating Agilan Thani in the co-main event of the evening by arm triangle choke, Askren addressed the crowd. “We got this guy Vitaly Bigdash” he said. “He agreed to fight me. Then he decided ‘well that’s gonna be a bad idea.’ He decided he didn’t want to do that anymore” he explained.

Agilan saw an opportunity, he took his opportunity. Bigdash, he ran around like a chicken (clucks and motions like a chicken). So here’s the deal. Bigdash, I need a dance partner on August 18. Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia I hope you’re going to come out and see me. Bigdash, If you decide you’re busy, you’re going to cluck around like a chicken some more, then I’ll take the Swedish man.

I’m out.

The Swedish man in question would be Zebaztian Kadestam, who scored an upset, come-from-behind victory over former title challenger Louis Santos earlier in the evening.

Ben Askren (16–0 (1)) has long been considered the best welterweight outside of the UFC, and flirted with signing on there prior to landing with ONE Championship. He previously served as Bellator MMA’s welterweight champion, and remains undefeated in his professional career.

Despite his desire to meet Bigdash in August, Askren may have to settle for the likes of Kadestam. The middleweight champion was announced as meeting Aung La N Sang in June towards the even of the Dynasty of Heroes broadcast.

Check out our full recap and results for ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes here.