Ben Askren is a former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder who retired from MMA a long time back.
Recently, he demonstrated his skills by submitting an Australian rules star in a playful wrestling match. Askren visited with the Hawthorn Football Club earlier this month as the AFL team got ready for the 2024 campaign.
Midfielder Jai Newcombe decided to test himself against the former national champion in freestyle wrestling. The other Hawthorn players laughed as the two engaged in a lighthearted brawl.
Askren used a foot sweep to momentarily take Newcombe to the mat, but the 22-year-old climbed back up.
The former mixed martial artist lifted Newcombe off the ground and drove him to the mat after managing to lock onto one leg. Askren moved from side control to an armbar, but Newcombe gave up and tapped.
Fans marveled at Askren’s impressive wrestling demonstration, especially considering his recent hip replacement surgery. Prior to him joining the UFC, Askren boasted an impeccable record of 19 wins and zero defeats. Ten of those victories were from title matches.
Though his career featured remarkable triumphs, Askren’s UFC legacy was marked by a swift defeat at the hands of Jorge Masvidal. It was the fastest knockout in UFC history at just five seconds.
After his departure from MMA, Askren competed in a boxing match against YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul. The bout ended as he was knocked out in the first round of the match.
It’s not easy to become an athlete in combat sports, particularly mixed martial arts. Most athletes experience financial instability upon their retirement.
Ben Askren spoke about it in an interview with Dad Saves America, stating that an athlete’s purse is insufficient to live a modest retirement.
He said: “I realized most athletes end up poor. And this is the truth as a fighter and obviously we don’t make as much money as an NBA or an NFL player. But you realize, like in my last MMA fight I made $300,000. But, like for me to do that again. I don’t have an easy way to make that much money again. Whereas the fighting was like one fight, I show up, boom, check, there you go.”
“But for these fighters, you know, they get to this point where, okay, they say: ‘All right, I’m gonna retire. I’m done with training, my body’s beat up. So then they retire and then they realize like: Wow, making that much money in the real world’s like really hard and I didn’t save enough.'”