Ben Askren: “I need to be good.”

by Steven Marrocco and Matt Erickson | source:

“When I won a Bellator tournament, I was only a year and four months into my fighting career, maybe,” said Askren. “My outlook was, OK, now I get all this time to actually get good at this.”

“I’ve been with Duke for one year now. I’m not under the delusion that I’m going to become a world-class striker in a year. That’s crazy. If anybody thinks they can actually do that, they’re an idiot.

“If you read a lot of the psychology research, they say to become a world-class competitor in something, it takes 10 years, roughly. So, I haven’t got 10 years. I’ll be plenty well retired from fighting by the time I hit 10 years in fighting.”

“I don’t expect (the fans) to appreciate (wrestling). I would say the majority of MMA fans don’t have a great technical knowledge base, and really, what they want to see is people snapping arms, or people knocking people out. There’s no appreciation for the finer points of jiu-jitsu or wrestling. But I’m OK with that. It’s not like I feel the need to change it or think I actually can.”

“Most people aren’t very good at MMA. I look at it from the perspective that I’m ranked, whatever, ninth to 15th in the world right now (in MMA). In wrestling, if I were to wrestle today, I probably wouldn’t be in the top-50. But I’m a way better pure wrestler than an MMA fighter.”

“It’s more about making me the best mixed martial artist I can be, as opposed to trying to gameplan. I’m three years into my fighting career. Why am I going to be gameplanning for somebody? I need to be good.

“Am I going out there looking for the knockout ever? Probably not. I doubt I’ll ever do that. I’m smart enough to stick with what I do well. I know I wrestle and use my offensive jiu-jitsu better than almost anyone in MMA. So I’m going to stick to my guns.”

Read the entire article at the source…