There are only a select few Mixed Martial Artists who can boast about being part of the Olympic Games, and Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren is one of them. A decorated wrestler, Askren competed at the highest stage in his chosen sport before deciding to give MMA a shot, and he hasn’t looked back since with wins in all eleven of his bouts.
Askren spoke about his decision to abandon a career on the mat in a recent interview with MMAFrenzy where, in standard fashion, the always-confident competitor said he was cool and collected the first time he entered a cage.
“I knew I had four years until the next Olympics. I had thought about giving MMA a shot so I just decided to do a ‘now or never kind of deal’ and hop right in it.”
“I wasn’t nervous going into my first fight. I knew my opponent was overmatched. The guy I ended up fighting was like 4-6. It was fun, but there isn’t much excitement beating a guy when the competition level isn’t up to yours. I had worked super hard for my best victories. Years of work. So it wasn’t that much of a thrill to hop into MMA for a few months and then go beat someone up.”
PHOTO CREDIT: BELLATOR