Would Askren have done any better in the UFC in his prime?

Discussion in 'MMA Forum' started by Samart'sTeep, May 28, 2021.

  1. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Member Full Member

    Nov 17, 2019
    This is just a random question I wanted to pose. What if Dana White hadn't been a petty jerk and had signed Ben Askren to the UFC back when he was in his prime and deserved to get his shot? Would he have faired any better in the UFC?

    It's pretty well known that Askren had basically quit the sport unless he was given the opportunity to fight the best in the world, so he was definitely out of practice for a long time and was getting older. We now know as he got older he was also battling injuries.

    On the other hand, would his skillset (even in his prime) have been able to succeed at the highest levels of MMA? He was never considered athletic in collegiate wrestling, and just succeeded because of his unique skillset and funky scrambling ability. We know he had no power in his ground and pound so even if he unloaded a high output, he was very rarely able to hurt his opponents. Like Damian Maia, he was never going to develop into even a halfway competent striker and was basically as one dimensional as you can get in modern mma. His striking was about as bad as you can get in mma to be honest, and, unlike Maia, he was never able to use it to set up his takedowns/guard pulls. He would just dangerously reach forward at times, leaving himself totally exposed to strikes.

    He never really developed into a good submission grappler, either, just a competent one who instead relied on his folkstyle wrestling control. Khabib had those same positional controlling skills but was a much, much better submission grappler and had devastating (I know it was accumulating) power and output in his ground and pound. So even though he had some stylistic similarities to Khabib in how he used the far side wrist control, and such, he never had the same abilities or versality in skillset.

    So what do you guys think? Would he have done any better than his embarrassing showing in the UFC? I tend to think he would have failed just as badly, but it's one of those open questions like how Matt Lindland would have done if he had gotten back in the UFC when he was at his best. I remember back when he first came into MMA and people on youtube were telling me that he was going to beat GSP, lol.

  2. The Funny Man 7

    The Funny Man 7 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Apr 1, 2005

    Right now it's fashionable to hate on Askren, but I hope at some point his reputation get's rehabilitated because he was a daunting fighter at his best. And obviously the guy is a legit legend in the history of American collegiate wrestling.

    I don't think he would ever becoming a dominant force, and I don't even think he would hold a world title. I'd imagine him as the UFC equivolent of Ron Lyle: a guy who racks up a lot of top 10 wins over the span of an up and down career.

    The complete lack of striking would always hold him back.