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Ben Askren


From: Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Born: Jul 18, 1984
Height: 178cm
Weight: 77.1kg

Ben Askren is a name that is familiar to many in the world of mixed martial arts. He is a UFC fighter who has had an incredible career, both in and out of the octagon. Ben was born on July 18, 1984, in Hartland, Wisconsin. He is the son of Loren and Sandy Askren. Ben’s parents were both successful athletes; his father was a wrestler at the University of Minnesota, and his mother was a track and field athlete at Michigan State University. Ben followed in their footsteps and became an Olympian wrestler himself.

The Early Days

Ben’s wrestling career began when he was just a child, at age six. He started wrestling in elementary school and quickly became one of the best wrestlers in his age group. By the time he was in high school, Ben was one of the top high school wrestlers in the country. He became a two–time WIAA state champion, and he placed on the podium at multiple US National tournaments in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman.

After high school, Ben attended the University of Missouri on a wrestling scholarship, where he wrestled for the Missouri Tigers at 174 pounds. There, he became one of the most successful collegiate wrestlers in history and where he met his future UFC teammates Tyron Woodley and Michael Chandler.

Ben won three consecutive Big 12 Conference championships and was a two-time NCAA Division I national champion. During his junior and senior years, Ben amassed a record of 87-0, and he was the third athlete to earn the Dan Hodge Trophy on multiple occasions. His final record when he finished college was a 153–8 record (seven of the losses were handed to him by Chris Pendleton, who gave him a lot of trouble during his wrestling days.

Ben’s style of wrestling relied heavily on unorthodox scrambling techniques and a lot of pins. Ben was also known for his massive afro during his wrestling days.

Ben Makes The US Olympic Team

In 2007, Ben competed at the Pan American Games and won a gold medal. Ben’s success as a wrestler led him to the 2008 Olympics, where he represented the United States in freestyle wrestling. Unfortunately, Ben did not medal at the Olympics, and he was eliminated in the second round of the competition.

Ben’s mixed martial arts (MMA) career began shortly after he failed to medal at the Olympics. In 2009. Ben made his MMA debut that year, where he won his first fight via TKO and his second fight via arm triangle.

The Bellator Reign

In 2010, Ben moved on to fight for Bellator MMA. Ben won his first three fights against Ryan Thomas two times and once against Dan Hornbuckle via unanimous decision. Ben heavily relied on his wrestling expertise by which he took down his opponents and controlled them for the majority of the fight. On October 21, 2010, Askren got the chance to fight the Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman Good. Ben won the fight via unanimous decision and became the Bellator Welterweight Champion.

Ben went on to defend his belt for five fights before it was announced that Ben was leaving Bellator at the end of 2013.

Ben Joins ONE Championship

In 2013 Ben signed a six-fight contract with ONE Championship. His first fight was against Bakhtiyar Abbasov, who he defeated via arm-triangle choke. Ben wasted no time after his victory and called out ONE champion Nobutatsu Suzuki. Ben faced Suzuki at the Reign of Champions on August 29, 2014, where he won the fight via TKO in the first round. Ben won his next four out of five fights, one of them being a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke.

Ben Joins The UFC

In one of the worst trade deals in human history, in 2018, UFC traded with ONE Championship the former UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson for Ben Askren. Askren had his UFC debut at UFC 235 vs. Robbie Lawler, who he defeated in the first round via bulldog choke.

His next fight was against a fierce rival, Jorge Masvidal, at UFC 239. Before the match, Ben talked a lot of trash towards Masvidal, which didn’t age well. Masvidal managed to knock out Ben in record time (five seconds) via flying knee, which knocked Ben out cold.

Ben’s next fight was against ADCC World Champion and MMA veteran Demian Maia at UFC on ESPN+ 20, where Ben lost via submission in round three. On November 18, 2019, Ben announced his retirement from MMA.

Another downfall for Ben’s career came in 2021 when he fought internet troll, Jake Paul in a boxing match. No one is exactly sure why Ben agreed to this (besides the paycheck) and if he really believed he could win a boxing match since his striking game was horrible during all his MMA years. Ben lost the fight by TKO early in the fight.


Ben Askren was one of the best wrestlers the sport of MMA had to witness, amassing a stunning record versus technically sound fighters by utilizing his wrestling skills; however, his career during the past few years took a massive downturn. No matter what, Ben will be remembered as one of the best wrestlers and the goofiest personalities in the sport.

This fighter profile was last checked and updated on: July 4, 2022