Ben Askren recently explained why he left Islam Makhachev off his list of the best wrestlers in the UFC.
In a recent interview with James Lynch, Askren claimed that Bo Nickal and former UFC double champ Henry Cejudo to be among the best wrestlers in the UFC currently.
Upon being asked about his thoughts on lightweight champ Islam Makhachev's wrestling prowess and his potential inclusion on the list, Askren stated that despite being quite capable of wrestling, the current lightweight champ still has to climb a "relatively high level" to be on the list.
Citing his reasons for the exclusion, the former Bellator and ONE Welterweight Champion said:
"It's so hard with them because I mean obviously... him and Khabib they crush people with wrestling but you know you asked me from a wrestling perspective and without seeing them you know, even Chimaev who I think they all in the area they all grow up wrestling but without seeing them at a relatively high level, it's hard to say."
"Because there's even been some guys who I mean like 'GSP' [Georges St-Pierre] probably will be the most prime example who have almost no wrestling background but yet used takedowns really really well. But you know, that doesn't always translate into regular wrestling. It's correlated probably but it's not a direct translation"
Check out Ben Askren's opinion on Islam Makhachev's wrestling skills below:
Islam Makhchev is known for his stunning Sambo-style wrestling, which has proved to be a great threat to his opponents.
Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski announced for UFC 284
Islam Makhachev recently defeated Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 to claim the vacant lightweight title.
Following the Dagestani's win, there was a lot of speculation pertaining to Alexander Volkanovski becoming the next potential opponent for the new lightweight king.
Intrigued by the potential matchup and 'The Great's' interest in moving up a division, the UFC finally posted the official announcement for Volkanovski vs. Makhachev on Twitter:
"The LW belt & P4P status are 𝙊𝙁𝙁𝙄𝘾𝙄𝘼𝙇𝙇𝙔 on the line @MakhachevMMA takes on @AlexVolkanovski in the #UFC284 main event! [ Feb. 11 | Get your tickets early at http://UFC.com/Perth"
Both fighters will have a lot riding on this upcoming matchup. Volkanovski will be attempting to further his legacy as a double-champion. Makhachev, being a new face, will be attempting to retain his lightweight title in what would be his first title defense of the career.