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ONE Championship 41: Ben Askren takes decision in non-title fight

Ben Askren didn't get to defend his title at ONE Championship 41, but he did grind out a victory.

Ben Askren doesn't get to defend his ONE Championship welterweight title very often. His last opponent, Luis Santos, went to a No Contest in one bout and refused to fight in the rematch. And his opponent at today's ONE Championship 41, Nikolay Aleksakhin, couldn't make the contracted weight. But the bout went on anyway, even though the title wasn't up for grabs, and Askren used his typical game to grind away a unanimous decision victory.

Aleksakhin did have some moments when he was able to keep it on the feet. And he was able to get out from underneath Askren's suffocating top game many times. But he just couldn't keep Askren from taking him down, and that was the difference. The former Bellator champ won every round and walked out as the victor. He did give his opponent some credit after the fight though:

"I fought 25 minutes and fighting 25 minutes against nobody is fun. He was a tough competitor and I just have to come more prepared next time."

Askren (15-0) recently signed a new six-fight deal with the Asian promotion. He has defended his title just twice in his two years as their 170-pound champion.

Here are the full results from the show:

Ben Askren defeated Nikolay Aleksakhin via unanimous decision
Geje Eustaquio defeated Gianni Subba via unanimous decision
Lowen Tynanes defeated Koji Ando via unanimous decision
Reece McLaren defeated Muin Gafurov via unanimous decision
Honorio Banario defeated Vaughn Donayre via unanimous decision
Martin Nguyen defeated Li Kai Wen via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:44
Joshua Pacio defeated Rabin Catalan via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:19
April Osenio defeated Natalie Gonzales Hills via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:23
Sunoto Peringkat defeated Bernard Soriano via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:50
Danny Kingad defeated Muhamad Haidar via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:20