Ben Askren is set to return to action in June… it just won’t be in mixed martial arts. On May 6, the former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder will be stepping onto the mat at Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden for a special wrestling match at “Beat the Streets: Grapple at the Garden.”
Askren will be taking on fellow former Olympian Jordan Burroughs.
“Jordan Burroughs is a great champion who has been a great supporter of Beat the Streets for years, and Ben Askren has made a name for himself with his outsize talent and personality to match,” said Beat the Streets Executive Director Brendan Buckley in a statement. “This is a match that many fans have been hoping for, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring them together in a way that will benefit our BTS kids on what is shaping up to be a huge night of wrestling at Hulu Theater.”
The charity wrestling match puts two of the most highly-decorated collegiate wrestlers on the mat at the same time as they look to continue their legacies as all-time greats.
“Beat the Streets, the largest grassroots inner-city wrestling program in the United States, serving as both a fundraiser for the organization and to celebrate its athletes as they compete on the biggest stage in the center of the world,” a statement read.
FloSports will provide live and on-demand coverage of the event on FloWrestling.com.
During his collegiate career, Askren, who goes by the nickname “Funky,” set the single-season NCAA pin record. He finished his college career with a 153-8 record and was a four-time All-American. Askren was previously nominated for an ESPY for Best Male College Athlete in 2007 and has also been inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.
Burroughs, meanwhile, finished his college career at the University of Nebraska with an overall record of 128-20. Burroughs was a three-time All-American and two-time undefeated national champion.
After his charity wrestling match, Askren (19-0) will be returning to MMA action at UFC 239 on Saturday, July 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Askren will face fellow top welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal on the fight card which takes place as part of International Fight Week.