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MANILA, Philippines – ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren will have the chance to settle the score with Luis Santos as both men are slated to square off against each other again in the main event of the promotion’s “Pride of Lions” card on November 13.
In the first encounter that happened this past April in Manila, Askren kept the belt around his waist, but not under the circumstances he would have wanted as the bout resulted into an anticlimactic no-contest.
Askren’s left thumb accidentally poked the right eye of Santos, causing the action to halt at 2:19 of the first round and rendering his foe unable to continue the scheduled five-round title tilt.
Santos was giving Askren the toughest challenge that the former NCAA Division I wrestler has faced in years, successfully sprawling out of 5 takedown attempts and even reversing two more.
The organization’s modified rule-set seemed to be an advantage for Santos as he looked to clobber knees to the head and soccer kicks when Askren went on the attack.
“Santos gave me his best shots in the last fight and when they didn’t work he faked the eye injury to get out of the fight. I can’t wait to get him in the cage again. He isn’t tough enough to beat me,” Askren stated in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Unbeaten in 15 professional outings, Askren (14-0, 1 NC) is regarded as one of the world’s top welterweights outside the confines of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Prior to his meeting with Santos, Askren had competed twice under the ONE banner since his departure from Bellator MMA, submitting Bakhtiyar Abbasov with an arm-triangle choke in May 2014 before thwarting Nobutatsu Suzuki in the first round to claim the 170-pound division’s top prize 3 months later.
On the other hand, Santos (61-9-1, 1 NC) is experiencing a career resurgence since his release from Bellator in May 2012 as he piled up 7 straight stoppage victories.
“I’ve been training hard and can’t wait to get Santos back in the cage and make him humble,” Askren said of his opponent.
ONE: Pride of Lions is set to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. – Rappler.com