Ben AskrenBen Askren put together an impressive collegiate career that saw him advance to the finals of the 174-pound weight class four times and capturing the national title for Missouri in each of his last two seasons (2006-2007). The four-time All-American and three-time Big XII champion was a dominant force in his final two seasons as he went undefeated and won 87 matches in a row, ranking in the Top 10 all-time in NCAA history. Along with 93 career wins by fall, Askren also collected an NCAA record by pinning 18-consecutive opponents in the first period of their matches.

For his success on the mats as a junior and senior, Askren was honored by W.I.N. Magazine as its Dan Hodge Award winner, an award given annually to the top collegiate wrestler. In those same years, Askren won the Schalles award twice for the NCAA’s best pinner as well as the Outstanding Wrestler award at the 2006 NCAA Championships. He completed his career with a record of 153-7 and added four Academic All-Big XII honors to his mantle.

Ben Askren - Bellator Welterweight Champion. After earning his degree from MU in 2007, Askren remained in Columbia and served as a volunteer assistant coach, working alongside coach Shawn Charles for two years before both went to Tempe, AZ to coach at Arizona St. Additionally, he and Max began their wrestling camps, allowing kids a glimpse of the highly stylized approach toward the sport of wrestling. Simultaneously, during his two years after graduating, Askren continued to hone his skills and went on to capture the 74kg freestyle championship at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. With the victory came a spot on the Team USA roster and trip to the Beijing Olympics where he posted a 1-1 record on the world’s largest stage.

A native of Hartland, Wis., Askren was a two-time Wisconsin state champion (2001, 2002) and also a three-time high school All-American (2000-02). During his prep days, he won the 2002 Junior National tournament and was the runner-up at the High School Nationals while also taking fourth in the FILA Junior Freestyle Nationals. One year prior, he also took fourth in the FILA Cadet Freestyle Nationals and was fifth in the 2000 Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals.

Today, Ben is not only Bellator Welterweight World Champion, but also the assistant coach of the Askren Wrestling Academy. Ben is the camp director of the Askren Wrestling Academy (AWA) Camps. Ben teaches the unique Pillars of A.W.A. that includes a focus of long-term success through “total wrestling”, fundamentals, and experimentation.

Askren is arguably, the most dominant athlete to ever compete in an individual sport in Mizzou history, as he owned his weight class on a national basis for his last two seasons. He went a combined 87-0 in his junior and senior seasons (42-0 and 45-0, respectively) and won NCAA Championships at 174 pounds in 2006 and 2007 after finishing as NCAA runner up in his first two years (2004-05). Askren finished his career with a sterling 153-8 record, and is the winningest and most decorated wrestler in MU history. He was also a three-time Big 12 champion, and became Mizzou’s first ever four-time All-American. In 2006 and 2007, Askren won the Dan Hodge Trophy - given to the nation’s top wrestler – becoming just the second wrestler in NCAA history to win the award twice. Ended his MU career holding numerous records, including 91 falls (44 more than the old record), and 15 technical falls, among many others. Also a top-notch student who was a four-time NWCA Academic All-American, as well as a four-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection.

He became the first Tiger wrestler to qualify for the Olympics (Beijing, 2008), and he served for two years as a volunteer assistant on the Mizzou staff before beginning a career in Mixed Martial Arts fighting, where he quickly ascended to the Bellator Welterweight Championship with a 9-0 record.

July 18, 1984 - Hartland, Wisconsin
Arrowhead High School - 2002
University of Missouri - 2007
Two-time WIAA State Champion
2002 USA Wrestling Junior National Freestyle Champion
2004 FILA Junior National Champion
Two-time NCAA Division 1 Champion
Four-time NCAA Division 1 Finalist
Two-time Hodge Trophy Award Winner
Two-time Schalles Award Winner
2008 Olympian - United States Olympic Wrestling Team – Beijing
AWA Founder

Inducted - 2016