Bellator champ Ben Askren meets Nick Thompson in non-title fight at Bellator 40


Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren (7-0 MMA, 4-0 BFC) returns to the cage for the first time since earning the title at April’s Bellator 40 event.

Bellator Fighting Championship officials today announced that Askren will face longtime veteran Nick Thompson (38-13-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) in a non-title affair at the April 9 event. The fight is the first official contest for Bellator 40, which takes place at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Okla., and airs live on MTV2.

“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,” Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in today’s release. “He will be a fantastic test for Ben.”

A two-time Division I wrestling champion and 2008 Olympian, Askren carries a perfect record into the matchup. Askren defeated Ryan Thomas (twice) and Dan Hornbuckle en route to his season-two tournament title before earning a unanimous decision over Lyman Good to claim Bellator’s welterweight title.

In Thompson, Askren will face an opponent with more than seven times as many career fights. Still, the champion is unconcerned.

“I come to fight every single time,” Askren stated. “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.


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