Before making the transition to MMA, Ben Askren had a spectacular stretch as a Collegiate wrestler. Known for his 'Funky' and unorthodox style of wrestling, Ben Askren made it to the United States Olympic team in 2007.
Following his victory at the US National Championships, Ben Askren represented the United States in the 74kg (163 pounds) category at the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. However, the former two-time NCAA Division-1 champion fell short in his quest to claim the gold medal.
In the first round, Askren outwrestled the Hungarian Istvan Vereb and made it to the 1/8 finals. The Pan-American champion then faced Ivan Fundora and lost on the judges' scorecards. In the quarterfinals, Fundora lost to Russia's Buvaisar Saitiev, putting an end to Ben Askren's gold medal aspirations.
"I just wasn't good enough. I sucked," said Ben Askren after his loss to Cuba's Ivan Fundora.
Ultimately, Ben Askren got the sixth position on the final standings in the 74kg category. The American freestyle wrestler later recuperated and defeated former rival Ivan Fundora at the Cerro Pelado International in Cuba. Since then, Askren has primarily focused on his MMA career.
The grappler went on to become the welterweight title holder of two premier MMA organizations, namely ONE Championship and Bellator MMA.
Will Ben Askren return to the combat sports world?
After his recent boxing debut loss to Jake Paul, Ben Askren laid out his future plans in the post-fight interview. The former UFC fighter is looking forward to running his wrestling academies. Askren has affirmed that he won't make a comeback to the competition again.
"At the end of the day, my life doesn't change, one way or the other. In MMA, I was always pursuing or defending a world title. Today I was doing a fun boxing match... If it turned out great, then great. If it turned out sh*t, then my life is the same... I will not be back again. I will not be in any sort of cage," said Ben Askren.