Ben Askren: Wikis

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Ben Askren
Born July 18, 1984 (1984-07-18) (age 25)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Other names Funky
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)
Style Wrestling, Grappling
Fighting out of Tempe, Arizona
Team Lion's Den
Rank NCAA Division I Wrestling

Olympian Freestyle Wrestling

     purple belt in BJJ[1]
MMA record
Total 3
Wins 3
By knockout 1
By submission 2
By decision 0
Losses 0
Draws 0
Other information
University University of Missouri
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Ben Askren (born July 18, 1984 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa) was an American amateur wrestler for the University of Missouri and the US Olympic team and is now a American professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.

Contents

Biography

Askren is a volunteer assistant wrestling coach and was an American amateur wrestler for the University of Missouri. Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, his family moved to Wisconsin, where he won two state championships.

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Collegiate career

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 most top wrestlers — allows him to attempt moves that most wrestlers could not. This characteristic led to some embarrassing moments earlier in his freestyle career. His younger brother Max also wrestles for Missouri.

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 another wrestler who was undefeated going into the NCAA finals, future two time NCAA champion and future Hodge Trophy winner, Jake Herbert of Northwestern. 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.

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.

Mixed martial arts

A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a wrestling coach at the American Top Team school in Columbia, Missouri [1], Askren hopes to compete in MMA in 2009[2]. In December 2008 Ben went to Coconut Creek, FL to train at American Top Team main school where many top fighters train.

Ben made his professional MMA debut on Feb. 7th. It was held by Headhunter Productions at the Holiday Inn Select Executive Center in Columbia, Missouri. Ben defeated Josh Flowers via TKO early in the first round.[2] The fight was streamed live on Purefight.org.

Askren has his second fight at Patriot Act 2 in Columbia, Missouri, Askren defeated his opponent Mitchell Harris via submission by using a arm triangle. The fight was a catchweight fight at 175 pounds. The fight, like the first, was streamed live on Purefight.org.

Askren is reportedly training with American Kickboxing Academy for his next bout and was in talks with Strikeforce.[3] He instead signed on to fight in Bellator Fighting Championships welterweight tournament starting in April, Askren´s first fight will be against Ryan Thomas at Bellator 14 April 15th 2010.[4]

2008 Olympics

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 Zaldivar 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 sobbing, "I just wasn't good enough. I suck."[5][6]

Mixed martial arts record

Result Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
United States Ryan Thomas Bellator 14 02010-04-15 April 15, 2010 United States Chicago, Illinois, USA WW Quarter-Final Tournament Bout
Win United States Matt Delanoit Submission (North-South Choke) Max Fights DM: Ballroom Brawl 02009-08-28 August 28, 2009 1 1:15 United States Des Moines, Iowa
Win United States Mitchell Harris Submission (Arm Triangle) Headhunter Productions 2: The Patriot Act 2 02009-04-25 April 25, 2009 1 1:27 United States Columbia, Missouri Catchweight of 175 lb
Win United States Josh Flowers TKO (Punches) Headhunter Productions 1: The Patriot Act 02009-02-07 February 7, 2009 1 1:25 United States Columbia, Missouri

References

External links

Video Interviews


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