The narrative is plain for anyone who cares to look.
Amoussou can catch Ben Askren
early in tonight’s
Bellator 86main event, he might have a chance to wrest away the
welterweight title. If not, most believe Askren will grind the
Frenchman down for 25-minutes, with Amoussou helpless to resist the
wrestler’s potent grappling attack.
Amoussou, however, disagrees that his chances of victory lie only
in the bout’s early rounds. Rather, “Psycho” says he is ready to
compete for as long as it takes on Thursday night at the Winstar
World Casino in Thackerville, Okla.
“I feel ready for five rounds, or perhaps even more,” Amoussou
recently said during a media conference call. “Every fight is
different. In every fight I’ve [used] quite a lot of high rhythm
and tried to win the fight in a different way. My fight rhythm is
very [fast-paced], but don’t worry about my cardio. I’m good.”
Though Amoussou will likely enjoy a striking advantage when he
meets “Funky” live on Spike TV, he must nevertheless deal with
Askren’s wrestling ability, which measures among the best in all of
mixed martial arts. Still, Amoussou says he is prepared to meet
Askren wherever the fight may be decided.
“I think obviously Ben is a very good wrestler, but that’s not a
surprise to anybody. I think I’m the most well-rounded fighter, and
you never know what is going to happen with me, so I think that is
what gives me the biggest advantage in this fight,” said Amoussou.
“Wherever the fight goes, I’m ready for it. A big mistake to make
would be to think that Askren is only a wrestler. It would be a
very big mistake to underestimate his boxing and ground game, so
I’m taking him very seriously. I’m going to fight an MMA fighter,
not a wrestler, and I’m ready to fight in any part of the
Despite his reassurances, Amoussou must also answer questions about
worst-case scenarios. Namely, how will the Frenchman handle
Askren’s pressure and the boos from the crowd if he winds up
underneath the two-time Dan Hodge Trophy winner round after
“My nerves are very good. I’m calm and cool, and I’m ready for any
type of fight,” said Amoussou. “I’m ready to fight standing up, and
I’m ready to wrestle and grapple. The fans will probably boo if the
fight goes to the ground and he manages to [impose] his game, but
I’m coming to win that belt, so I’m not worried about that.”
In promoting the fight, Amoussou has not minced words when asked
about his opinion of Askren’s fighting style, calling the champion
“boring,” among other things. Tonight, when Amoussou tries to
become the first man to overcome Askren’s smothering excellence in
the cage, the “Psycho” says fans will have no trouble
distinguishing him from his opponent.
“Watch one of my fights, and then watch one of his fights. You’ll
know why I called him boring and why I call myself exciting,” said
Amoussou. “We have the complete opposite style. My style is to
finish people. His style is to lay and pray for five rounds.”