VIDEO: Ben Askren Won Olympic Debut Despite Opponent Getting Extra Rest Time

Published 04/16/2021, 12:00 PM EDT


Ben Askren will enter the ring for one of the biggest fights of his career. Despite being in several world title fights and high-profile bouts in MMA, ‘Funky’ carries the hope of many people as he prepares to face Jake Paul. So ahead of his fight against ‘The Problem Child’, let’s revisit his Olympic debut.

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Askren is famous for his incredible wrestling abilities. Throughout his MMA career, the American relied heavily on this skill. Therefore, it will be of no surprise to fans when they find out that the former Bellator MMA and ONE Championship champion represented his country at the Olympics.

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The 19-2 fighter took part in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He competed in the 74 kg category (163 pounds) and took on Hungarian István Veréb. Askren started the match slowly as his opponent took the first round, 2-0. However, after the first round, Veréb took an extra break as he picked up additional advice from his coach.

Despite this, ‘Funky’ came out stronger in the second round. He pinned Veréb twice and won without needing to go to the last round. Thus, the American made a successful start to his Olympic campaign. However, he lost his second match, and results elsewhere did not go his way, thus eliminating him from the repechage and a shot at the bronze as well.

READ MORE: How Will Jake Paul Fare in an MMA-Fight Against Ben Askren?

How can Ben Askren use his Olympic experience against Jake Paul?

Regardless of the final outcome, representing one’s country at the Olympics is an incredible achievement. Moreover, these feats prove Askren has a great deal of experience in the fight game. So how can ‘Funky’ use it against Jake Paul?

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The former MMA champion can use his experience to control the fight and restrict it from becoming a slugfest. Moreover, given Jake Paul’s antics out of the ring, Askren should expect ‘The Problem Child’ to do something to put him off. His experience will come in handy to stick to the game plan in such situations.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 02: Ben Askren celebrates his submission victory over Robbie Lawler in their welterweight bout during the UFC 235 event at T-Mobile Arena on March 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In addition, if Askren starts slowly and is on the back foot like in his Olympic debut, he is better equipped to keep his composure and work his way back into the fight. Thus, it will be intriguing to see how ‘Funky’ uses his experience to his advantage on April 17.

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Leonardo Carvalho

843 articles

Leonardo Carvalho is a Boxing Writer for EssentiallySports. Before working as a boxing web journalist, Leonardo dabbled in roles ranging from an SEO specialist to a Chegg expert. Alongside his current role, Leonardo runs a YouTube channel where he combines his passion for fitness with sports.

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