Ben Askren, who may be known by his nickname ‘Funky’ to many mixed martial arts fans and wrestling enthusiasts, is an American retired mixed martial artist.
The former Olympic wrestler and the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter have also registered in the history book as ONE Welterweight Champion and Bellator Welterweight Champion.
However, being well familiar with his on-stage career and a fan of his fighting skills, you may not have insights into his personal life. What is Ben’s net worth in 2020? How did he start his career?
After all, these are some of the curiosities that his fan base may have. Accordingly, we have prepared all the answers to those and some other queries like his age, height, weight, and career achievements in this article. So, follow us until the end.
|Full Name||Benjamin Michael Askren|
|Birth Date||July 18, 1984|
|Birth Place||Cedar Rapids, Iowa, US|
|Education||University of Missouri|
|Father’s Name||Chuck Askren|
|Mother’s Name||Michele Askren|
|Siblings||Max Askren (brother)|
|Age||38 years old|
|Height||5 feet 10 inches (178 cm)|
|Weight||77 kg (170 lbs)|
|Hair Color||Dark Brown|
|Profession||Mixed Martial Art Fighter|
|Team||Roufusport, Evolve MMA|
|Wife/ Spouse’s Name||Amy Askren|
|Net Worth||$10 million|
|Social Media||Facebook, Twitter, Instagram|
|Last Update||February, 2023|
Ben Askren: Early Life, Family, and Education
Ben was born in Cedar Rapids, the second-largest city in Iowa, United States, on July 18, 1984. He was born to Chuck Askren and Michele Askren. Furthermore, he spent his childhood with his brother Max Askren.
Like him, Max is also a wrestler as a professional who won a national championship in 2010. By the way, Ben was born and raised Christian.
Next, talking about his education, Ben went to Arrowhead High School, where he completed his high school education.
Notably, he won the state championship in wrestling two times at the school. Then, he enrolled at the University of Missouri.
At the same time, he worked as an assistant wrestling coach at Arizona State University. In his college days, he collected many honorable awards in wrestling, which served as a boost in his professional career.
Ben Askren: Wrestling Career
He was in 174 lb. weight class during his collegiate wrestling career. Significantly, as an amateur wrestler in his university.
He won the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship match in 2006 and 2007 after consecutive defeats in the same competition in 2004 and 2005. He still holds the record for a single-season NCAA pin.
Moreover, he won gold medals in both the 2006 and 2007 Big 12 Championships. In the 2006-2007 season, he went undefeated with a record of 42-0.
Also, he won the Big 12 Conference Championship in 2004, 2006, and 2007. He was famous for his unorthodox ‘funky’ style of wrestling and his pinning skills during those times.
He finished his wrestling career at the college with an impressive 87 match winning streak with a record of 153-8.
Explicitly, Oklahoma St.’s Chris Pendleton and Purdue’s Ryan Lange are the only two opponents who defeated Ben during his four years at Missouri.
Similarly, he qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics by defeating national runner-up Tyrone Lewis at the US Olympic Trials. And, competing in the 74 kg weight class, he won his first match.
However, he had to lose out from the competition without any medal after his defeat in the round-of-eight match to Cuba’s Ivan Fundora and Fundora’s loss in the quarterfinal. After the game, Ben commented,
“I just wasn’t good enough. I sucked.”
As a consequence, Ben halted his wrestling career. However, he took part in wrestling on some occasions.
After that, he won the fight against Cuba’s Fundora in the Cerro Pelado International semifinals in 2010 to requite his defeat in Olympics.
Furthermore, he took part in the Agon Wrestling Championships and the Flo Premier League.
Ben Askren: MMA career
After the Olympics, Ben started fighter training at the American Top Team’s main school in Florida. On February 7, 2009, he made his professional MMA debut in Columbia, where he defeated Josh Flowers.
After that, his second fight was at Patriot Act 2 in Columbia, where he defeated Mitchell Harris. Then, he took part in the 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship in Barcelona.
However, Ben was knocked out of the competition by Pablo Popovitch in the second match after winning against Toni Linden. Later he won gold in the 84 kg division at the 2009 FILA 2o World Grappling Championship.
Bellator Fighting Championship
Then, Ben took part in Bellator Fighting Championships Season 2 Welterweight Tournament. At Bellator 14 and the rematch at Bellator 19, Ben defeated Ryan Thomas.
He was then crowned as the champion of the competition at Bellator 22 after defeating Dan Hornbuckle for all three rounds. He defended the title for four successive years at Bellator 40, 56, 64, and 86.
The dominant win against Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 97 was the final fight of his contract before the contract terminated at the company in November of 2013.
Following the release, he signed a 2-year contract with ONE Championship. Ben defeated Bakhtiyar Abbasov, then with a nine-fight win streak, in the ONE Fighting Championship: Honor and Glory event on May 30.
Later he became the new ONE Welterweight Champion on August 29, 2014, following the win against Nobutastsu Suzuki at ONE FC: Reign of Champions.
He won all the six fights under his contract with one fight ruled out as “no contest.”
Another key thing, Ben signed for the UFC on November 3, 2018, under the “trade UFC and ONE Championship agreement”.
Notably, on his UFC debut, he had a controversial win against the former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 235.
”When someone decides to come into the UFC, and they don’t have a combat sports background, you’re kind of thinking, ‘Does he understand what he’s getting into?”
Later, he faced two defeats: the fastest knockout in UFC history against Jorge Masvidal and ‘Fight of the Night’ award-winning loss against Demian Maia. At last, he retired from the MMA competition on November 18, 2019.
Jake Paul on Ben Askren
The fight card between the social media influencer Jake Paul and Ben Askren took place in April 2021 that took many by surprise. Well, Paul crowned the victory with a knockout within less than two minutes into the contact.
Not to mention, it was labeled one of the most embarrassing fights of Ben Askren. As per Askren, he stated that he knew he had no chance against Paul if he showcased his fighting abilities.
However, Paul stated that Ben had underestimated him.
“He came in unprepared. I said it in the weigh-ins the day before. I said, ‘You, my friend, are underestimating me.’ And it was very, very unprofessional the way he came in.” -Jake Paul
Following their match, Jake’s brother, Logan Paul called Ben Askren a ‘genius.’
Altogether, Paul garnered a whopping amount from this bout which as per him made him worth $65 million. Also, as per his Instagram post, there was a whopping 1.3 million pay-per-views for the fight and he made six figures from it.
Ben Askren: Achievements & Awards
Askren pinned in 25 of 45 matches he won in his 2005-2006 collegiate season, which earned him the Schalles Award Top Collegiate Pinner of the Year in 2006 and 2007.
There he was National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Champion in 2006 and 2007 and NCAA Division I All-American Finalist for four consecutive years since 2004.
He was awarded Dan Hodge Trophy for Collegiate Wrestler of the Year in 2006 and 2007. He was presented in the Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame by the University of Missouri in 2012.
Similarly, Askren won gold medals at the 2005 Pan American Championships Senior Freestyle, 2007 and 2009 Hargobind International Tournament Senior Freestyle,
2007 NYAC Holiday International Open Senior Freestyle, 2010 Dave Schultz Memorial International Open Senior Freestyle, and most notably in FILA 2009 Grappling World Championships Senior No-Gi.
He won USA Senior Freestyle National Championship in 2008 and FILA World Team Trials Senior No-Gi in 2009.
Moreover, Ben won Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Championship. Also, he has held the Bellator record for defending the title for most successive years (four).
Moreover, he has also successfully defended the title of ONE Welterweight Champion three times after winning it in 2014.
Apart from these, Ben is also a competitive player in the sport of disc golf. For instance, he secured second place in the 2011 United States Amateur Disc Golf Championship,
First place at 2009 Mighty MO Advanced, and third place in 2006 Alabama Amateur Open Intermediate and 2009 First Class Challenge.
Along with these, he came fourth in the 2009 PDGA Amateur World Doubles Championships Advanced.
Ben Askren: Net Worth and Salary
As of February 2021, Ben Askren’s net worth is approximately $10 million. He gathered most of the fortune from his career as a professional MMA fighter.
Above all, it is speculated in some online sources that he earned over $830,500 apart from undisclosed bonuses during his UFC career, which is undoubtedly more than the fortune an average professional makes in the industry.
He earned $353,000 for his UFC debut. Well, that was impressive!
As of now, Ben, with his brother Max, runs an academy, ‘Askren Wrestling Academy’ located in three places, Hartland, Mequon, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
He also co-hosts weekly wrestling podcasts: ‘The Funky & FRB Show’ with Front Row Brian and ‘The T-Row & Funky Show’ with Tommy Rowlands and has ‘RUDIS Wrestling Podcast’ and is engaged in endorsements with Dollamur Sport, My Bookie, and Reebok.
Also, he is sponsored by Discraft and has been reported to have invested in cryptocurrency.
To point out, some sources report his current total annual salary of around $500,000. Also, he owns a Lamborghini car and has owned Rolls Royce and other luxury cars.
To conclude, he has a happy, wealthy lifestyle. And with all the years of fighting on and off the stage, he deserves it all.
Ben Askren: Age and Height
Born in 1984, Ben Askren is 36 years old as of June 2021. His zodiac sign is Cancer. Born in America and pursuing a career here, he holds an American passport.
It has been a long time since Ben retired. Due to this reason, he has still maintained the athletic build of his body.
He stands at 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 77 kg (170 lbs). In conclusion, with dark brown hair and bluish eye, Ben is quite a good-looking guy.
Ben Askren: Wife and Children
On April 9, 2010, Ben married Amy Askren in front of their friends and family. Until now, he has had three children, a son and two daughters, with her.
Moreover, Ben is seen to be enjoying his holidays and vacations with his wife and children.
Due to this, his marriage life is supposed to be healthy, and Amy was quite supportive of his professional career. However, detailed information about his children has not been found.
Ben Askren: Social Media
Of course, Askren uses numerous social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
He has 349,000 followers on Twitter, 626,000 followers on Instagram, and his Facebook page has reached 70,957 followers as of September 2021. Moreover, he is seen to be adding posts regularly and checking the comments too.
Ben Askren: FAQs
What is Ben Askren’s boxing or MMA record? Who is his boxing coach?
Ben Askren features the MMA record of nineteen wins, two losses, and a single no contest. Among his wins, six of them are submission, six again by knockout and the remaining seven of them from the decision.
Likewise, his losses include a knockout and a submission.
Well, Ben’s boxing coach is Freddie Roach.
What did Ben Askren say to Kamaru Usman?
Well, Ben Askren simply called Kamaru Usman a ‘fake.’ As per Ben, he stated that Usman’s personality changed after he joined MMA. Also, he claimed that Usman is putting up an act, and people can see right through it.