How Good Was Ben Askren in His Prime? | Explained
Ben Askren is one of the most accomplished athletes in the history of the United States, but unfortunately due to fighting past his prime, he won't always be remembered this way.
In this page we will cover just how good Ben Askren was in his prime.
Table of Contents
- Ben Askren Background
- How Good Was Askren in His Prime?
- Askren Past His Prime
- Askren Being Remembered
Ben Askren Background
Ben Askren is an Olympian, 2 time Division 1 National Champion, and has won a gold medal in 8 out of 11 main events in his wrestling career (The other 3 events he was a silver medalist).
He is the second wrestler to win the Dan Hodge Trophy multiple times, given to the nation's best wrestler of the year.
On top of all of this he would go on to be a champion in different Mixed Martial Art organizations including One FC and Bellator.
How Good Was Askren in His Prime?
Ben Askren was arguably in his prime during his Bellator and One FC stint where he would amass a 12-0 MMA record, defeating fighters such as Douglas Lima (32-10) and Shinya Aoki (47-9) throughout the way.
Askren would also hold the Bellator belt for almost 3 years.
Although he would extend his undefeated streak to 19-0 once he transitioned to One FC, he would be nearing the end of his physical prime.
Despite this, Askren would famously not be hit in 2 entire fights as he dismantled Zebastian Kadestam, securing a double leg takedown in the first 30 seconds of the fight.
Askren would also famously start his own USA chant as he was on the back of an undefeated Russian fighter during a fight.
Despite having a 'Boring' wrestling-style, nobody was able to consistently stop his takedowns, and due to this he would rarely take damage.
Although 'Funky' did not ever look like he has entered a weight room in his life, he was incredibly strong.
in fact, he would set the internet on fire years later just by showing off his strength through breaking watermelons with a choke hold.
Askren Past His Prime
The most notable way to see Askren leaving his physical prime is through his movement.
During Askren's prime, he was very mobile, incredibly strong, and would execute different variations of takedowns from any position.
During his One FC and UFC stint, you can see Askren leaning forward awkwardly, and as he walked forward it almost seemed like he wobbled.
Askren would reveal once he finally retired that his hips became so bad, that he would get a hip replacement.
Officially a bionic man! pic.twitter.com/72JnAklXa9— Funky (@Benaskren) September 1, 2020
In fact, Askren would acknowledge in an interview that he was already past his physical prime as he neared the end of his ONE FC contract.
“But being a guy who does not use any of that stuff, like I said, I’m not the same guy I was at 28 physically. Now, technically I’ve gotten better, because I haven’t been doing this MMA thing that long. But physically, I have definitely gotten worse. I’ve passed my peak. And so, when I re-signed my contract with ONE Championship two years ago, I told them straight up, ‘I’m done. At the end of 2017, I’m done.’ Initially, like I said, I thought it was going to be 30. (But) 33, that’s it.”
Unfortunately for Askren, he would un-retire and enter the UFC largely after his prime.
In the UFC he would win a controversial bout against Robbie Lawler (where Askren was picked up and thrown on his head), and then famously get knocked out in the fastest time in UFC history (5 seconds), and then he would get submitted by Damien Maia.
To add salt to the wound, he would then get viciously get knocked out by YouTube star Jake Paul, a fight that he would take after the hip replacement surgery.
Askren Being Remembered
Despite all of the immense success that Askren has had as an athlete, he would not enter the 'Mainstream Media' until after his prime.
Unfortunately for him, that is when he would suffer his losses in the UFC, as well as losing to Jake Paul.