Ben Askren was born in Hartland, Wisconsin in the United States on July 18th in 1984. Askren was a 2-time state wrestling champion in high school and then won titles in NCAA Division I wrestling in 2006 and 2007 going undefeated both years. Askren won gold medals in freestyle wrestling at the 2005 Pan American games, the 2008 U.S. Championships, and the 2009 World Championships. He also represented the U.S. in the 2008 Olympics but was defeated in the 2nd round.
In 2009 Askren made his professional mixed martial arts debut. He began his career 3-0 before joining Bellator where he’d capture the Bellator welterweight championship and defend it 4 times. In 2013 Askren was granted a release from his contract with Bellator and had hoped to sign with the UFC to prove he was the best welterweight in the world. However, UFC president Dana White was not a fan of Askren’s fighting style which consisted of out-wrestling opponents and provided little in the way of excitement to the casual fan.
Askren found a home with the Singapore based MMA promotion ONE FC and made his debut in May of 2014. In his second fight for ONE FC, Askren won the ONE welterweight championship and in April of 2015 defended the title in a fight that ended in a No Contest after an accidental eye poke left Askren’s opponent unable to continue. The No Contest ran Askren’s record to 14-0 with 1 No Contest with 4 wins coming by knockout and 4 by submission.
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