Though a potential meeting between the two requires a certain set of circumstances to play out the right way, it looks like Bellator welterweight Paul Daley already has his sights set on divisional champion Ben Askren. Daley, who debuted under the promotion’s banner in victorious fashion earlier this year with a first-round knockout, was recently asked to give his opinion on the unbeaten Askren and offered up a harsh assessment of the title-holder.
Not only does Daley feel Askren lacks the ability to finish a foe convincingly but isn’t much of a Mixed Martial Artist to boot.
“As champion, you should want to prove you are the champion and try to destroy your opponent. I don’t think think he has that ability or intention. I don’t think he has it in him to finish,” said Daley in an interview with MMAFighting. “For the past two years we’ve heard about him working on his striking, but we’ve seen zero to none of it. I don’t know if he’s lacking in confidence or he’s not a real fighter or what.”
One area of Askren’s that Daley respects is, understandably, the former Olympian’s grappling game. However, in Daley’s mind that doesn’t make “Funky” a legitimate fighter.
“Some people just ain’t fighters. I think he’s a great wrestler. No doubt he is. But I don’t think he’s a great fighter. If push comes to shove and he’s put in a fight, he won’t win,” blasted Daley. “He’s fortunate his wrestling carried him this far. Put him in a real fight and we’ll see. Maybe he can have his shot stuffed, be elbowed and bleeding and grit out a win, and then I’ll give him his props. But from what I see so far, I think he’s bluffing.”
Based on Bellator’s tournament structure Daley will need to string together a trio of consecutive wins inside a three-month span starting this January to earn a title-shot, while Askren also has his hands full with an upcoming defense against Karl Amoussou.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR