Askren remains unbeaten, defends title for second time
Askren stayed unbeaten with a unanimous decision sweep of the judges’ scorecards against Douglas Lima in the main event of Bellator 64, and in the process he retained his welterweight title. The fight took place at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Askren’s style may not endear itself to some fans, but it has proven to be effective. The two-time NCAA national champion wrestler and Olympian smothered Lima round after round on his way to the 50-45 sweep, constantly using his world-class wrestling as the difference. The win was his second defense of the welterweight belt after what really has been his only test in his MMA career, a split decision win in October against Jay Hieron.
Askren (10-0, 7-0 Bellator) now has won six straight by decision after starting his MMA career with four straight first-round stoppages. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said Askren’s style may continue to cause matchup problems for his foes in the weight class.
“Ben put on a display of complete dominance tonight, and will be a force in this division for a long time,” Rebney said.
Lima earned his shot at Askren after winning the promotion’s Season 5 welterweight tournament. Lima tried to work for submissions from his back, but was never able to put the champion in much danger.
Also on the card, Marlon Sandro won a featherweight tournament semifinal bout against Alexandre “Popo” Bezerra by split decision. Popo landed some heavy hands in the third round to win the final frame, but ultimately it wasn’t enough on two of the judges’ cards. He awaits the winner of next week’s semifinal fight between Mike Corey and Daniel Straus. It was Popo’s first loss since 2009.