In 2019, Jordan Burroughs ran through Ben Askren and defeated the former UFC star 11-0 via technical fall in a exhibition wrestling match.
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Ben Askren is a former collegiate wrestling champion in his own right. However, Burroughs displayed the wrestling skills which earned him an Olympic Gold Medal in the London Games in 2012. In Ben Askren’s defense though, he had long retired from freestyle wrestling and he was a full-time MMA fighter by the time the bout came around.
The two were competing in a Beat The Street event.
Burroughs performance drew praise from all across the combat sports world. UFC President Dana White even claimed that he would love to see Burroughs in the UFC. However, the talks between the two parties never materialized, and Burroughs continued wrestling.
For Ben Askren though, this bout would begin a skid which ended in his retirement from MMA. Ben Askren entered the contest as an undefeated MMA star having beaten former UFC champion, Robbie Lawler, just two months prior.
After losing the wrestling match, Ben Askren fought Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239. He would lose the fight via KO in just five seconds – the quickest stoppage ever in UFC’s history.
He was then scheduled to take on Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 162 in October. He would lose the fight via a rear-naked choke in the third round. Mounting injuries then forced ‘Funky’ Ben to retire from MMA in November 2019.
What has Ben Askren been up to since retirement?
Ben Askren underwent a successful hip surgery in 2020 and plans to return to competitive freestyle wrestling soon.
He was recently called out by Youtuber Jake Paul for a boxing match. While he has been a wrestler throughout his career, some MMA stars believed that he could defeat Paul in a boxing match as well.
Askren duly accepted the callout from Jake Paul and agreed to fight him in the boxing ring. However, the Youtuber has since been silent, drawing the ire of the former Bellator and ONE FC welterweight champion.
Ben Askren has also been quite vocal about investing in cryptocurrency on his various social media handles. He especially encourages people to invest in Bitcoin. Many MMA stars such as Eddie Alvarez have taken him up on his advice.
Combat sports fans across the globe will be earnestly looking forward to seeing Ben Askren don the wrestling singlet again and return as a completely fit and healthy athlete.Published 09 Jan 2021, 18:02 IST