Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren returns to the cage for the first time since winning the title and faces UFC veteran Nick Thompson at Bellator 40.
Bellator announced the match up on Wednesday and that it will be a non-title fight.
“Ben’s been completely dominant in every fight he’s had under the Bellator banner and Nick has run the MMA gauntlet in his career, fighting everywhere and everyone,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He will be a fantastic test for Ben.”
Askren is undefeated (7-0) and won the Bellator welterweight title by defeating Lyman Good at Bellator 33 in the Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Tournament finals.
Thompson has more than fifty fights with a record of 38-13-1. The former Bodog Welterweight Champion has a ton more MMA experience than the former Olympic wrestler and thinks it will show during the fight.
“I think the biggest advantage for me in this fight with Ben is the fact that I’ve fought more than 50 fights,” said Thompson. “I’ve fought in every organization, I’ve fought against the best fighters in the world, and I’ve been ranked in the top ten. Ben hasn’t been there. I plan on hitting him like he’s never been hit before and I’m excited to find out how he’s going to react.”
Askren isn’t worried about Thompson’s in-ring experience or past victories.
“I come to fight every single time. Whether you’re good or you’re bad, I still want to smash you, and it’s going to be the same thing when I fight Nick Thompson,” Askren said. “It doesn’t matter what his record is, I’m looking to kick his ass.”
Bellator 40 takes place on April 9 at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma and airs live on MTV2.
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