|Former Bellator Welterweight champion|
|Listed height||5 ft 10 in|
|Listed weight||170 lb|
|Born||July 18, 1984|
Hartland, Wisconsin, United States
|Fighting out of||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States|
|Trained by||Duke Roufus|
|Team||Roufusport, Evolve MMA|
|Organization||One Fighting Championship|
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 MMA Welterweight Champion, Askren is known for his effective wrestling. He is currently ranked as the #7 welterweight in the world by Sherdog.
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.
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. 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 University. 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.
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 University, 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
Askren is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the lead wrestling coach at the American Top Team school in Columbia, Missouri. 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.
Askren made his professional MMA debut on February 7, 2009. 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.
Askren had his second fight at Patriot Act 2 in Columbia, Missouri. He defeated Mitchell Harris via submission by Arm Triangle Choke. The fight was at a catchweight of 175 pounds.
Askren improved to 3-0 on August 28, 2009, by defeating Matt Delanoit via North South Choke in Des Moines, Iowa.
Bellator Fighting Championships
Askren was a participant in Bellator Fighting Championships Season 2 Welterweight Tournament. 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.
After Jim Wallhead was pulled from the tournament, Thomas was given another chance to compete. Thomas defeated Jason 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben Askren defended his title against Karl Amoussou on January 24, 2013. Askren controlled Amoussou with his wrestling and brutalized Amoussou with a unrelenting ground-and-pound attack. The doctor stopped the fight at the end of round three.
In the final fight of his contract, Askren next faced tournament winner Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 97. 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.
On November 14, 2013, following a somewhat bitter negotiation period, Bellator announced they had released Askren from any further negotiations with the company, and that he was now an unrestricted free agent.
One Fighting Championship
On 9th December 2013, Askren signed a 2 year/6 fight contract with One Fighting Championship.
Askren is expected to fight for the One FC welterweight title on May 30, 2014 against Bakhtiyar Abbasov at One FC: Honor and Glory.
Askren is married. Askren is also competitive in the sport of Disc Golf. In 2009, Askren finished 9th in the Amateur World Championships. 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
Mixed Martial Arts
- Bellator Fighting Championships
- Abu Dhabi Combat Club
- 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Quarterfinalist
- International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
- FILA 2009 Grappling World Championships Senior No-Gi Gold Medalist
- USA Wrestling
- FILA World Team Trials Senior No-Gi Winner (2009)
- Professional Disc Golf Association
- 2011 United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship 2nd Place
- 2009 PDGA Amateur World Doubles Championships Advanced 4th Place
- 2009 St. Louis Open Advanced 2nd Place
- 2009 Mighty MO Advanced 1st Place
- 2009 First Class Challenge 3rd place
- 2006 Alabama Amateur Open Intermediate 3rd Place
- 2005 Highnoon at Indiantown Intermediate 2nd Place
- International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
- 2010 Cerro Pelado International Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
- 2010 Dave Schultz Memorial International Open Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
- 2009 Hargobind International Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
- 2009 Sunkist Kids International Open Senior Freestyle Silver Medalist
- 2008 Kiev International Senior Freestyle Bronze Medalist
- 2007 NYAC Holiday International Open Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
- 2007 Hargobind International Tournament Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
- 2005 Pan American Championships Senior Freestyle Gold Medalist
- USA Wrestling
- USA Senior Freestyle Olympic Team Trials Winner (2008)
- USA Junior Freestyle World Team Trials Winner (2004)
- USA Senior Freestyle National Championship (2008)
- USA University Freestyle National Championship Runner-up (2005)
- ASICS Tiger High School All-American (2002)
- West Junior Freestyle Regional Championship (2002)
- Northern Plains Junior Freestyle Regional Championship (2001, 2002)
- Northern Plains Junior Freestyle Regional Championship Runner-up (2000)
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- NCAA Division I Collegiate National Championship (2006, 2007)
- NCAA Division I Collegiate National Championship Runner-up (2004, 2005)
- NCAA Division I All-American (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
- Big 12 Conference Championship (2004, 2006, 2007)
- Big 12 Conference Championship Runner-up (2005)
- Dan Hodge Trophy Collegiate Wrestler of the Year (2006, 2007)
- University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame (2012)
- National Wrestling Coaches Association
- Schalles Award Top Collegiate Pinner of the Year (2006, 2007)
- National High School Coaches Association
- NHSCA Senior High School National Championship Runner-up (2002)
- NHSCA Senior All-American (2002)
- Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association
- WIAA Division I High School State Championship (2000, 2001)
- WIAA Division I High School State Championship Runner-up (1999)
- WIAA Division I All-State (1999, 2000, 2001)
- Classic 8 Conference Championship (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|5||0 wins||0 losses|
|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 (guillotine choke)||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|
- Six chosen for University of Missouri Athletics Hall of Fame. KTVO-TV via website (2012-01-09). Retrieved on 2012-01-10.
- Collegiate wrestling stand-out Ben Askren makes pro MMA debut Feb. 7. MMAJunkie.com (January 27, 2009). Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved on June 17, 2010.
- MMA rookie and Olympian Ben Askren, UFC vet Din Thomas win in Missouri. MMAJunkie.com (February 9, 2009). Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved on June 17, 2010.
- NCAA champ Ben Askren moves to 2–0 with weekend MMA win. MMAJunkie.com (April 27, 2009). Archived from the original on January 28, 2013. Retrieved on June 17, 2010.
- Bellator 14 Results: Askren, Reis, Imada, and Curran Advance in Tourneys. MMAFrenzy.com. Retrieved on April 15, 2010.
- Ben Askren beats Ryan Thomas again, moves to Bellator final. usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved on May 20, 2010.
- Ben Askren Dominates Dan Hornbuckle for Bellator Title. MMAFighting.com. Retrieved on June 17, 2010.
- Bellator 33 results: Alvarez dominates Huerta, Askren claims welterweight title. mmamania.com. Retrieved on October 22, 2010.
- Bellator 40: Victorious Ben Askren Announces Move to Roufusport, Nick Thompson Retires. uscombatsports.com. Retrieved on April 11, 2011.
- Bellator 56 Results: Ben Askren Tops Jay Hieron to Retain Title. mmaweekly.com. Retrieved on October 30, 2011.
- Bellator 64 results: Askren keeps belt; Sandro, Marx, Nakamura advance. mmajunkie.com. Retrieved on April 7, 2012.
- BEN ASKREN BLUDGEONS KARL AMOUSSOU, RETAINS WELTERWEIGHT CROWN AT BELLATOR 86. Sherdog.com. Retrieved on January 24, 2013.
- Bellator 97 results: Michael Chandler, Ben Askren cruise to easy title defenses. mmafighting.com. Retrieved on July 31, 2013.
- Bellator releases welterweight champion Ben Askren. mmajunkie.com. Retrieved on November 14, 2013.
- Former Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren signs with ONE FC. mmajunkie.com. Retrieved on December 12, 2013.
- Ben Askren gets opponent for May 30 ONE FC debut. sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved on April 6, 2014.