On Friday, April 24, 2015 ONE Championship returns to the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines for ONE Championship: Valor of Champion.

The main event of the evening features a welterweight title clash between champion Ben Askren and longtime MMA veteran Luis Santos. Santos is on a hot streak right now having won his last seven bout all by way of stoppage but Askren is simply on another level compared to most.

Santos has the all-around game and experience to make things interesting but Askren’s ability to control his opponents and dictate the action of the fight makes him an incredibly difficult matchup not just Santos, but the whole division.

Striking

With 35 knockout victories to his credit Santos is a threat to anyone on the feet; especially Askren. Askren’s striking is rudimentary at best so the longer this fight stays standing the more dangerous Santos will become.

Advantage – Santos

Grappling

Santos has been grappling for many years but not at Askren’s level. A four-time NCAA All-American and two-time National Champion, Askren’s wrestling ability has been unmatched in MMA so far. Askren will look to take this fight to the ground early and he will look to keep it there for as long as he can.

Advantage – Askren

Submissions

On paper Santos should be the superior submission artist but Askren’s unorthodox style makes him difficult to control on the top. Combine that with his gold medal in the 2009 no-gi World Championships and you have a recipe for disaster when Askren is on top. Plus, Santos needs to get into a position to use his sub game, something he’ll have a hard time doing against Askren.

Advantage – Askren

X Factors

Santos – Even though he has a lot of tools in his bag, Santos’ biggest weapon in this fight will be his power. No one’s ever really tagged Askren to this point and it is unclear how he will fare once someone really lays hands on him. Santos has the skill and the power to test Askren’s mettle and chin.

Askren – For Askren this bout is all about control. Santos can be a dangerous fighter and he has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the fight game. Askren needs to stay on task; look for the takedown and control the action on the ground, where he reigns supreme.

Prediction – Askren via second round Submission

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.