Ben Askren defended his Bellator belt with a decision win over Jay Hieron in October. He's wrestled in the Olympics, won two multiple championships for the University of Missouri, and his next challenge should be Douglas Lima, when Bellator's next season starts in March.
But Askren may have one more wrestling match in him. The idea of a one-time match with current world champ Jordan Burroughs has been proposed to Askren, and he likes what he hears.
"He's a great competitor. He's the world champ. It would be a blast," Askren told Cagewriter. "We have uniquely different styles. I have the scrambling, and am a great mat wrestler, and he's very good on his feet. I think it will be a blast. You don't get to see too many contrasting styles that often."
His contract with Bellator allows Askren to participate in wrestling events. His sponsor, Cage Fighter, also sponsors Burroughs, and is working to make this match happen, possibly in Chicago the weekend of the UFC on Fox 2.
Askren is known for letting his opponents know exactly what he thinks of them, which can often result in harsh words. With Burroughs' credentials, Askren has nothing but respect for his possible opponent.
"He's one of the few people I actually respect. I can't talk [expletive.] I've got a lot of respect for him. If you look post-Cael [Sanderson], me and Burroughs are the two most dominant wrestlers as far as we both had undefeated seasons, we both won the Hodge Trophy, we both had very, very few close matches in the last couple years."
In the meantime, Askren is continuing to focus on an MMA career. Though next year is an Olympic year, he is definitely sticking with MMA and preparing for his next Bellator title defense. He describes his training at Duke Roufus' gym in Milwaukee as awesome, and has no plans to take a break during Bellator's hiatus.
"Training hard. I don't have an off-season, so I'm in the gym five days a week. Well, six, really. "