Ben Askren

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Ben Askren
Born (1984-07-18) July 18, 1984 (age 29)
Hartland, Wisconsin, United States
Other names Funky, Rolton
Nationality American
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st 2 lb)
Division Welterweight
Reach 71 in (180 cm)
Style Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Team Roufusport
Evolve MMA
Rank      brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Wrestling NCAA Division I Wrestling
Olympic Freestyle Wrestling
Years active 2009–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 12
Wins 12
By knockout 3
By submission 3
By decision 6
Losses 0
University University of Missouri
Notable relatives Max Askren, Brother
Notable club(s) Sunkist Kids
Notable school(s) Arrowhead High School
Website http://www.benaskren.net/
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Ben Askren
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's freestyle wrestling
Pan American Championships
Gold 2005 Guatemala City -84 kg
United States Championships
Gold 2008 Las Vegas -84 kg
Men's grappling
World Championships
Gold 2009 Fort Lauderdale -84 kg (No-Gi)

Ben Askren (born July 18, 1984) is an American former amateur wrestler for the University of Missouri and U.S. Olympic team. He is now a grappler, mixed martial artist and the former Bellator Welterweight Champion known for his effective wrestling. He is currently ranked as the #7 welterweight in the world by Fight!Magazine[1] and as the #8 welterweight by Sherdog.[2]

Wrestling[edit]

Askren was an assistant wrestling coach at Arizona State University and was an American amateur wrestler for the University of Missouri. He is a two-time state champion in wrestling at Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin.[3]

Collegiate wrestling[edit]

In college, he wrestled in the 174 lb. weight class. He lost the NCAA championship match to Chris Pendleton in both 2004 and 2005 before winning it in 2006 and 2007. He is known for his incredible pinning ability (he holds the single-season NCAA pin record); his massive afro, and his "funky", or unorthodox, wrestling style. For example, while being ridden in the 2005 championship match, he attempted to reach around and apply a headlock to Pendleton, a move that any wrestling coach would disavow. His tall, lanky body — in sharp contrast to the squat, muscular physiques of many top wrestlers — allows him to attempt moves that most wrestlers could not. This characteristic led to some embarrassing moments earlier in his freestyle career.[further explanation needed] His younger brother Max also wrestled for Missouri and won a national championship in 2010.

Ben had a dominant Junior season in 2005–06, winning all 45 of the matches he wrestled, pinning in 25 of those matches. He won the 174 pound weight class easily at both the Big 12 and NCAA Championships. He won his Big 12 finals match 17–6 over Jacob Klein of Nebraska and his NCAA finals match 14–2 over future two time NCAA champion and future Dan Hodge Trophy winner Jake Herbert of Northwestern. Herbert was also undefeated going into the NCAA finals. His outstanding season earned him the Outstanding Wrestler award at the NCAA Championships as well as the Dan Hodge Trophy and the Rev Wrestler of the Year.

He continued that dominance going into his Senior year in 2006–07, going undefeated again with a record of 42–0. He won his second consecutive NCAA Championship at 174 pounds by defeating yet another future NCAA champion, second-ranked Keith Gavin of Pittsburgh, 8–2. Ben finished his collegiate career with an 87 match winning streak. He also became only the second person ever to win the Dan Hodge Trophy twice, as W.I.N. Magazine named the 2007 winner. Ben was also once again named the Rev Wrestler of the Year. Additionally, he also received the Schalles Award, named after Wade Schalles and given to the most prolific pinner at the end of each season.

Ben finished his collegiate wrestling career with a record of 153–8, with 91 of those victories coming by way of fall. Those 91 pins put him at third on the all-time NCAA Division I pins list. He was also a four-time All American, including being only the twelfth Division I wrestler ever to be a four-time finalist. Askren was also nominated for an ESPY in 2007 in the category Best Male College Athlete. On January 9, 2012 it was announced that Askren would be one of six new inductees to the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.[4]

2008 Olympics[edit]

In the summer of 2008, Askren defeated national runner-up Tyrone Lewis in two consecutive matches by decision at the US Olympic Trials in Las Vegas, becoming the second University of Missouri wrestler to qualify for the Olympics. Sammie Henson, who attended MU, but finished his college wrestling career at Clemson, competed in the 2000 Olympics, winning the silver medal. Askren competed at the 74 kg. weight class in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Askren won his first match via pin against Hungarian István Veréb. In his round of 8 match he lost to Cuba's Ivan Fundora 1–3 0–4. The Cuban's loss to Russia's Buvaisar Saitiev in the quarterfinal round ended Askren's hopes to medal at the 2008 games.

The 24-year-old Askren was asked if inexperience was a factor. Though he was a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Missouri he was relatively new to freestyle after wrestling folkstyle in college. "That wasn't it," he said with tears in his eyes, "I just wasn't good enough. I sucked."

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Askren is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the lead wrestling coach at the American Top Team school in Columbia, Missouri [2]. In December 2008, Ben went to Coconut Creek, FL to train at American Top Team main school where many top fighters train. He currently trains at Roufusport in Milwaukee, where he is the wrestling coach.

Early career[edit]

Askren made his professional MMA debut on February 7, 2009.[5] It was held by Headhunter Productions at the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center in Columbia, Missouri. He defeated Josh Flowers via TKO early in the first round.[6]

Askren had his second fight at Patriot Act 2 in Columbia, Missouri. He defeated Mitchell Harris via submission by arm triangle. The fight was at a catchweight of 175 pounds.[7]

Grappling[edit]

Asken competed at the 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship from September 26—27, in Barcelona, Spain. He won his first match against Toni Linden by arm triangle choke. He lost his second fight to Pablo Popovitch, a veteran grappler he had trained with the previous summer, by figure four footlock early in the match. Popovitch went on to win the championship in the under 77 kg (169 lb) division.[8]

Askren also competed at the 2009 FILA 2° World Grappling Championship. Askren faced the 2008 World Champion, Jacob Volkmann, in the 84 kg no-gi division. Askren out-wrestled Volkmann and won gold in the category.[9]

Bellator Fighting Championships[edit]

Askren was a participant in Bellator Fighting Championships Season 2 Welterweight Tournament.[10] In his first fight, Askren defeated Ryan Thomas via technical submission at Bellator 14 on April 15, 2010. The outcome of the fight was controversial because Thomas protested the stoppage as soon as Askren released the choke.[11]

After Jim Wallhead was pulled from the tournament, Thomas was given another chance to compete. Thomas defeated Jacob McClintock by TKO in the first round at Bellator 15 and was awarded a rematch with Askren. When the two fought at Bellator 19, Askren came out victorious again with a unanimous 30–27 decision after controlling him with wrestling for three rounds.[12]

At Bellator 22, Askren defeated Dan Hornbuckle via unanimous decision after dominating him with his superior wrestling for all three rounds, becoming the Bellator Season Two Welterweight Tournament Champion.[13]

On October 21, 2010 in Philadelphia Askren took on the Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman Good. Despite being hit with a brutal upkick and almost getting caught in a triangle choke with one minute left, he was able to take down and control Good dominantly in every round. Askren won via unanimous decision to win the Bellator Welterweight Championship.[14]

Askren next returned at Bellator 40 to fight and defeat Nick Thompson after taking down and controlling Thompson for all three rounds. Although Askren started off quickly in the third round with a spinning back fist and several other strikes, he was caught with an overhand right by Thompson, causing Askren to take down and control Thompson for the remainder of the round. Askren went on to win by unanimous decision with the scores 30–26, 30–27, and 30–27.[15]

Following his commanding unanimous decision win over Nick Thompson in a non-title affair at Bellator 40 in Newkirk, Oklahoma. Askren revealed that he will relocate to Milwaukee in the near future to train under Duke Roufus at Roufusport.[16]

Askren successfully defended his title against season 4 welterweight tournament winner Jay Hieron at Bellator 56.[17] following a close split decision.

Askren successfully defended his title against season 5 welterweight tournament winner Douglas Lima at Bellator 64 on April 6, 2012 on Good Friday at the Caesars in Windsor, Canada.[18]

Next for Askren was a title defense against Karl Amoussou,[19] the fight taking place at Bellator 86 on January 24, 2013. Askren once again used his smothering top control wrestling to shut down his opponents grappling, and managed to open a cut on Amoussou's forehead with an elbow strike. The doctor stepped in between the third and fourth rounds, judging the cut too severe for Amoussou to continue.[20]

In the final fight of his contract, Askren next faced tournament winner Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 97.[21] He dominated the fight with his wrestling and ground strikes, outstriking his opponent by an astounding 248-to-3 margin before winning via TKO in the fourth round.[22]

On November 14, 2013, following a negotiation period, Bellator announced they had released Askren from any further negotiations with the company, and that he was now an unrestricted free agent.[23]

One Fighting Championship[edit]

On 9th December 2013, Askren signed a 2 year/6 fight contract with ONE Fighting Championship.[24]

Askren will meet Bakhtiyar Abbasov, who is currently riding a nine-fight win streak, in the main event of One FC: Honor and Glory on May 30th.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Askren is married.[26] Askren is also competitive in the sport of disc golf. In 2009, Askren finished 9th in the Amateur World Championships.[27] Askren is sponsored by Discraft. Ben and his brother Max opened up Askren Brothers Wrestling Academy in 2011. Currently there are two locations in Hartland, WI and Somers, NY.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 12–0 Andrey Koreshkov TKO (punches) Bellator 97 July 31, 2013 4 2:58 Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States Defended Bellator Welterweight Championship.
Win 11–0 Karl Amoussou TKO (doctor stoppage) Bellator 86 January 24, 2013 3 5:00 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States Defended Bellator Welterweight Championship.
Win 10–0 Douglas Lima Decision (unanimous) Bellator 64 April 6, 2012 5 5:00 Windsor, Ontario, Canada Defended Bellator Welterweight Championship.
Win 9–0 Jay Hieron Decision (split) Bellator 56 October 29, 2011 5 5:00 Kansas City, Kansas, United States Defended Bellator Welterweight Championship.
Win 8–0 Nick Thompson Decision (unanimous) Bellator 40 April 9, 2011 3 5:00 Newkirk, Oklahoma, United States Non-title bout.
Win 7–0 Lyman Good Decision (unanimous) Bellator 33 October 21, 2010 5 5:00 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Won Bellator Welterweight Championship.
Win 6–0 Dan Hornbuckle Decision (unanimous) Bellator 22 June 17, 2010 3 5:00 Kansas City, Missouri, United States Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Final.
Win 5–0 Ryan Thomas Decision (unanimous) Bellator 19 May 20, 2010 3 5:00 Grand Prairie, Texas, United States Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Semifinal; Thomas replaced an injured Jim Wallhead.
Win 4–0 Ryan Thomas Technical Submission (Japanese necktie) Bellator 14 April 15, 2010 1 2:40 Chicago, Illinois, United States Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal.
Win 3–0 Matt Delanoit Submission (north/south choke) MFDM: Ballroom Brawl August 28, 2009 1 1:15 Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Win 2–0 Mitchell Harris Submission (arm triangle choke) HP: The Patriot Act 2 April 25, 2009 1 1:27 Columbia, Missouri, United States 175 lb catchweight bout.
Win 1–0 Josh Flowers TKO (punches) HP: The Patriot Act February 7, 2009 1 1:25 Columbia, Missouri, United States

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MMA Welterweight Rankings". fightmagazine.com. Retrieved 4/5/2013. 
  2. ^ "Sherdog Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 7/8/2013. 
  3. ^ http://wrestling.teamusa.org/athletes/ben-askren
  4. ^ "Six chosen for University of Missouri Athletics Hall of Fame". KTVO-TV via website. 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2012-01-10. 
  5. ^ "Collegiate wrestling stand-out Ben Askren makes pro MMA debut Feb. 7". MMAJunkie.com. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  6. ^ "MMA rookie and Olympian Ben Askren, UFC vet Din Thomas win in Missouri". MMAJunkie.com. 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  7. ^ "NCAA champ Ben Askren moves to 2–0 with weekend MMA win". MMAJunkie.com. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  8. ^ SCHEDULE September 23, 2009 — sebastianvalle (2009-09-23). "ADCC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BARCELONA 2009". Adccbarcelona.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  9. ^ InternationalFederationof AssociatedWrestling Styles. "Championnat du Monde en Floride". Fila-official.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  10. ^ "Welterweight prospect Ben Askren announced as Bellator's newest signee". MMAJunkie.com. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  11. ^ "Bellator 14 recap: Imada, Askren, Reis and Curran advance in tourney action". MMAJunkie.com. 2010-04-15. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  12. ^ "Bellator 19 recap: Soto stops Saraiva; Askren and Hornbuckle book finals date". MMAJunkie.com. 2010-05-20. Archived from the original on 29 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  13. ^ "Bellator 22 recap: Dan Hornbuckle can't stop the funk; Ben Askren claims tourney win". MMAJunkie.com. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  14. ^ "Ben Askren Beats Lyman Good for Bellator Welterweight Title". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  15. ^ "Bellator 40 Results: Ben Askren Dominates Nick Thompson Over Fifteen Minutes". SBNation.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  16. ^ Breen, Jordan (2011-04-09). "Bellator Champ Askren Milwaukee-Bound, Set to Join Roufusport Camp". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  17. ^ Leidecker, Tim (2011-09-30). "10 October Tussles Worth Watching". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  18. ^ "Ben Askren vs. Douglas Lima welterweight title bout set for Bellator 64 | MMA News". Mmainterplay.com. 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ Whitman, Mike (2013-01-24). "BELLATOR 86 RESULTS: PLAY-BY-PLAY & UPDATES". Sherdog. Retrieved 2013-02-14. 
  21. ^ "Bellator 97 takes place on July 31st in New Mexico with Askren-Koreshkov and Lima-Saunders". The MMA Report. 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  22. ^ Thomas, Luke (July 31, 2013). "Bellator 97 results: Michael Chandler, Ben Askren cruise to easy title defenses". MMAJunkie.com. 
  23. ^ "Bellator releases welterweight champion Ben Askren". MMAJunkie.com. 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2013-11-14. 
  24. ^ "Undefeated Former Bellator Champion Ben Askren Signs with One FC". 
  25. ^ Chris Pagliuca (April 7, 2014). "Ben Askren to Make One FC Debut in May". mmanuts.com. Retrieved April 7, 2014. 
  26. ^ "BEN ASKREN WINS BELLATOR WELTERWEIGHT TOURNEY". MMAWEEKLY.com. 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  27. ^ "2009 PDGA Amateur World Championships Resules". 

External links[edit]