Ben Askren was once considered the perfect candidate to put an end to Khabib Nurmagomedov's legendary undefeated streak. Back in 2018, when Askren was yet to make his UFC debut, Joe Rogan said he'd love to see a potential fight between 'Funky' and 'The Eagle'.
At the time, both Khabib and Askren were undefeated. While the Russian retired with a perfect record, things didn't pan out similarly for the American. Askren had already captured the welterweight titles in Bellator and ONE Championship and was about to make his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler.
Praising Askren's grappling skills, Rogan said his style is unusual and difficult to prepare for. He said Askren's wrestling skills made him the perfect candidate to neutralize Nurmagomedov inside the octagon:
"I think he’s something special. I think his grappling is very unusual, very difficult to prepare for. And if you’re going to deal with Khabib against a guy who can neutralize his stuff and then we see like, what if we see Khabib on his back? Ben Askren fu**ing with a knee across the belly punching Khabib in the face,” Joe Rogan said on his podcast.
Check out a clip from the podcast below:
Ben Askren explains why he'd have a good chance of beating Khabib Nurmagomedov if they ever fought
In a recent interview, Ben Askren addressed comparisons between himself and Nurmagomedov. Funky said he'd outgrapple Khabib had they ever fought each other. He also pointed out that Nurmagomedov has never been outgrappled inside the octagon because he never fought any world class wrestlers.
Askren also spoke about his size advantage over Khabib and cited it as a major reason why he'd have beaten Nurmagomedov in a fight:
"We would grapple and I think I would be better than him. I feel weird saying it because people, like yeah, you’re full of s**t. But no one out grappled him, nobody did. Maybe I’m wrong in this but we look at the best possible candidates. I’m definitely one of them and obviously, I have a small size advantage too. He never, unfortunately, fought any real, who I would say really, really high-level wrestlers,” Askren said on the Lex Fridman podcast.
Check out Askren's appearance on the podcast below:
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As it stands, we'll never know what the outcome of a potential clash between the two world-class grapplers would've been as they're both currently retired.