Dominating opponents is nothing new for Ben Askren.
Only this time it’s in a different sport.
A two-time NCAA national champion wrestler at Missouri, Askren continued his new career of mixed martial arts Saturday night at the event called “The Patriot Act II” at the Holiday Inn Expo Center in Columbia.
Askren defeated Mitchell Harris by a technical knockout just 1:27 into the first round. The match was the second of Askren’s young MMA career. He won his first match by technical knockout against Josh Flowers in February.
The crowd Saturday night, many wearing Mizzou gear in support of the former wrestler, stuck around to watch the co-main event—the tenth and final match of the night. A fight between Lucas Lopes and Whisper Goodman was the other co-main event match. Lopes won by a unanimous decision.
Just before the final match, a plethora of boos rang across the Expo Center, directed at Askren’s opponent, Harris. When Askren was introduced, most of the crowd stood and cheered, the loudest ovation of the night.
Askren, who competed in the Beijing Olympic games last summer in wrestling, has found a new love after wrestling. Askren became one of the most noticeable wrestlers while at Missouri because of his “funky” curly hairstyle. Askren was pleased with the outcome of the night.
“That went really well. All of the fights were awesome,” Askren said. “I felt more comfortable on my feet tonight.”
Askren has been working hard to become known for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu aspect of his fightinghttp. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport and martial art that focuses on grappling.
“Jiu-Jitsu, that’s my answer,” Francisco “Kiko” France, who has been training Askren, said. “It’s going to be really hard to stop Ben.”
Even though Askren won in the first round, France believes he could have beat Harris even faster.
“Ben is crazy. He knows he can win easy, but he wants to show everybody that he’s good at everything,” France said. “That what makes him a good fighter.”
Askren believes that learning Jiu-Jitsu is an important part to his success.
“My Jiu-Jitsu is getting better everyday,” Askren said.
Askren is unsure when his next fight will take place, but he wants it to be at a bigger venue.
“I would like to be 5 or 6 (wins) and 0 (losses) by the end of 2009,” Askren said.
While he hasn’t ruled out returning to the 2012 Olympics in London, he is happy with MMA for the moment.
“It’s a great feeling inside that cage,” Askren said.