SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 9/2: Askren dominates, One Championship Shanghai results, Michael Johnson to featherweight, Malignaggi will fight McGregor for free, Borg on Johnson

MMATorch Staff

Demetrious Johnson

Ben Askren dominates in title defense

Ben Askren returned to the MMA cage this morning for One Championship and gave us what we’ve come to expect from him. He dominated his opponent, slamming him early, and keeping constant pressure on him that lasted the whole first round. In the second it was more of the same, and after nearly two full rounds of punishment the referee jumped in and saved Zebaztian Kadestam from more damage.

With the win, Askren improves to 17-0 with one no contest. He added a successful defense of his Welterweight One Championship to his resume that already includes Bellator tournament victories, and a run with the Bellator welterweight title.

At this point it’s not a stretch to say that he is the best welterweight in the world that isn’t fighting in the UFC, but he wants to prove that he is the best, period. Following his victory Askren stated that he wants to fight somebody that can hit him and will take on anybody willing to challenge him.

One Championship Shanghai results

Ben Askren def. Zebaztian Kadestam via second-round TKO

Ma Hao Bin def. Hexigetu via second-round submission

Amir Khan def. Jaroslav Jartim via first-round knockout

Xu Chun Yan def. Eh Ya Nut via unanimous decision

Sagetdao Petpayathai def. Mahmoud Mohamed first-round TKO

Jie Miao def. Mona Samir via first-round submission

Tetsuya Yamada def. Kyle Rozewski via first-round submission

Zehao Zhang def. Cheng Chao Li via third-round TKO

Xie Chao def. Marc Marcellinus via first-round submission

Michael Johnson announces drop to featherweight

After a rough patch that has seen him go 1-4 in his last five fights, Michael Johnson has decided to take his talents down to the featherweight division. Johnson has shared the octagon with some of the best welterweights on the planet, and is always an exciting fighter. It will be interesting to see if he can right the ship in a new weight class.

Malignaggi willing to fight McGregor for free

Pauli Malignaggi says he’ll put his purse on the line for a chance to face Conor McGregor in the ring. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Malignaggi said, “I’m willing to risk fighting him for free just to punch him in the mouth again, again and again. That’s how confident I am he can’t beat me. I’d make it winner take all just for the pleasure of putting my fist in his teeth again.”

When talking about McGregor’s start in the Mayweather fight he had this to say, “As an unbiased commentator, I’ll tell you this: People are shocked at the way Conor started the fight. “He started the fight very well.”

Malignaggi has seen the way the McGregor-Mayweather fight played out during their sparring sessions, “After a few rounds, the problem is Conor has no backup plan,” Malginaggi said. “This might just be that he hasn’t boxed for a long time. That’s not so many layers to him. The layers has has are just the ones you see.

“I think once you get the hang of it, once you get the hang of what Conor is doing, you start to break him. And as I’ve said from the start, this guy is not the bravest guy in the world. There’s a lot of punk in this guy. He’s a loud guy, he’s a brash guy. Honestly, in MMA he has the advantage most of the time, because he is talented. You have to give him that, he is talented. But a fighter is a fighter when faced with adversity. Not in round one, not when he’s talking at a press conference.”

Ray Borg says he’ll put an end to Demetrious Johnson’s career

Borg told reporters that he will happily grant Johnson an immediate rematch after his victory at UFC 215, and promising just days earlier that he would put an end to Johnson’s UFC career.

After laughter, Johnson responded, “He ain’t retiring sh*t,” Johnson said. “I’m just getting started. I’m 31 years old, I’m feeling better than ever. Training is going easy and I’ve fought the hardest-hitting and the most athletic guys in this division. He’s a tough competitor, and we’ll see where his mouth is after the fight night.”

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NEWS UPDATE: Woodley vs. GSP at 185, Ben Askren returns, Andre Berto in the UFC, latest fight announcements

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