Former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder, Ben Askren is yet to board the Khamzat Chimaev hype train and believes the undefeated prospect could suffer defeat at the hands of Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11.
Speaking to Submission Radio ahead of the September 19 card headlined by his friend Tyron Woodley, Askren revealed he remains unconvinced by Chimaev. ‘Funky’ is not impressed by the level of opposition he has fought since joining the UFC earlier this year, he said.
“The hard part about it is, we saw him twice in the UFC. But the first guy he fought, John Phillips, he’s 1-4 in the UFC. So, he was very unsuccessful. And the second guy he fought was a new addition to the UFC. So, he has not won a UFC fight. And so it’s like, ok, well, he definitely smashed these guys, there’s no doubt about that, but are these guys Gerald Meerschaert level competition? And the answer to that, is no, they’re definitely not. So, sometimes people can look great against guys who aren’t as good, and then when they step into a little competition, it’s a lot harder. So, I don’t really know what to expect out of Chimaev. I know Gerald is really good, he’s really tough. But yeah, I don’t know about Chimaev yet.”
Askren believes Meerschaert may be able to withstand early pressure from Chimaev and pull of a monumental upset win this weekend, he explained.
“I think one of the things is, Gerald’s really hard to submit. He’s really hard to control. He never wrestled, but fairly solid wrestling. So, one of the things I can see happening for sure, is Chimaev comes out like a ball of fire and isn’t able to do the damage, isn’t able to get the submissions, and then Gerald starts taking over as the fight moves on. I can see that happening one hundred percent.”