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MMA is unpredictable when seeing who could be the next big thing. Prime examples include the era in which Chuck Liddell and Randy Coutore were ruling the heavyweight divisions, to the story of Conor McGregor. The UFC soon realized who could be the next breakout star in their organization.
A wrestler for all of his years in high school and the NCAA, Milwaukee-born Ben Askren raised his talent radar when he entered MMA and dominated Bellator with a reign of 1,128 days as the Welterweight champion. During his short free agent stint, Askren signed with ONE Championship.
After an impressive win over Bakhtiyar Abbasov, Askren defeated Nobutatsu Suzuki by TKO in the 1st round. Askren embarked on a reign of 1,517 days with 4 title defenses, but went into semi-retirement that lasted almost a year.
In October of 2018, Askren was a part of the biggest deal in MMA history where he was traded to the UFC for Demetrious Johnson to go to ONE Championship.
Critics felt that Askren wouldn’t make it to the UFC, but nearly a decade later, Askren will make his anticipated debut against Robbie Lawler at UFC 235 on March 2nd.
Askren looks to walk out with a win, but these past few months alone have been merits for the Olympic wrestler. With an outspoken attitude, perhaps Askren sees a new chapter of success in the UFC.
Featured Image: Tapology