ASKREN TO TAKE ON STRIKING SPECIALIST LUIS SANTOS IN MANILA ON 24 APRIL.

Undefeated welterweight Ben Askren is set to make the first defence of his ONE FC title when he takes on Brazilian striking specialist Luis Santos at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on 24 April.

Askren (14-0) was a wrestling standout who won multiple NCAA Division One championships and competed at the Olympics before embarking on a successful MMA career which has seen him win titles with first Bellator and then ONE FC.

The American won the ONE FC 170 lbs belt by stopping inaugural champion Nobutatsu Suzuki in the first round in Dubai last August and will be looking to defend that title when he headlines what will be the promotion’ sixth card in Manila.

Santos (61-9-1) is one of the most experienced fighters in the division and holds a BJJ black belt but the Brazilian is best known for his striking and has an incredible 35 KO/TKO wins to his name.

‘Sapo’ is riding a seven fight winning streak which culminated in a first round stoppage win over Bakhtiyar Abbasov in Singapore last November that was so impressive it persuaded matchmaker Matt Hume to hand him an immediate title shot.

The MOA Arena is a 20,000 capacity indoor arena situated on the site of Manila’s biggest shopping complex which opened in 2012 and has already played host to four ONE FC cards with the most recent featuring Bibiano Fernandes, Brandon Vera and Roger Gracie.

Next up for Asia’s biggest MMA promotion is ONE FC: ‘Age of Champions’ which is set for Stadium Putra in Kuala Lumpur on March 13th and will feature ten fights although no matchups have been announced at the time writing.