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Former U.S. Olympian Ben Askren to make MMA debut on February 7

Ben Askren, who represented the United States in freestyle wrestling at the Beijing Olympics this past summer, is scheduled to make his mixed martial arts debut on February 7 in Columbia, Missouri. confirmed the news with Dan Lambert, the president of American Top Team, where Askren is currently preparing for his pro debut.

Askren, who will compete at welterweight, is one of the most decorated amateur wrestlers in U.S. history. He was the 2006 and 2007 winner of the Danny Hodge Trophy, an annual award given to the top collegiate wrestler.

The 24-year old was also a two-time NCAA champion while competing for the University of Missouri, where he posted an amazing record of 153-8 during his four-year amateur career. He is also fourth on the all-time NCAA list for pins with 91, trailing only Gene Mills (107), Wade Schalles (106), and Larry Bielenberg (94).

Askren is also scheduled to fight on February 26 in Miami. Already viewed as one of the top unsigned prospects in the sport, it’s likely Askren is already attracting interest from major national promotions. However, his asking price will no doubt increase if he’s able to begin his career 2-0.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    The ’70’s called. Peter Frampton wants his hairstyle back.

  • SabotageMMA says:

    Did I read this correctly? Askren is scheduled to fight twice in three weeks?

    That is a pretty quick turnaround especially for a guy who has never competed in MMA before. I think Ben will learn real fast that an athlete is more prone to injuries when someone is hitting him in the face.

    With the lengths of suspensions these state athletic commissions hand out, I am not sure why a promoter would even expect to see Askren back fighting that soon.

    But regardless, I wish Ben the best! Glad to see the MMA talent pool get deeper and deeper with fresh, young talent.

  • BigDave says:

    Ive been hearing alot about this kid and im looking forward to seeing what he can do in the cage.

  • Nick says:

    Looks to me like he is looking for a ticket to the UFC and a few quick wins in small promotions should secure that for him.

  • Lethal says:

    Askren is going to bring the funk to MMA. Dude is already a purple belt in BJJ.

  • wrestling fan says:

    I have been following Ben Wrestle since his 1st year in College. He is no doubt one of the top 5 wrestlers of the decade. He is amazing to watch with exceptional stamina…his conditioning alone can run most guys in the ground. Needless to say I am looking forward to his success in the MMA arenas.


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