Ben Askren is uniquely positioned as one of the few people on the planet who are able to comment on the difficulty of Boxing, MMA, and Wrestling. According to him, there’s one of those combat sports that’s significantly easier and it just so happens to be the one he’s about to compete in for the first time. He’s been seen ramping up his sparring in preparation for his upcoming Boxing match against YouTube sensation and 2-0 professional Jake Paul, although it’s apparently nowhere near as hard on his body as his former careers.
Askren made his name as one of the best wrestlers on the planet when he fell just short of a medal at the 2008 Olympic Games after winning everything he could in America. Shortly after that, Ben Askren embarked on an MMA career that saw him win titles in both Bellator and ONE FC before making his long-awaited UFC run with just three fights. To this day, he has said that one of the only things he would’ve done differently throughout his career is train more Jiu-Jitsu, improving his submission offense and defense.
Ben Askren made his comments in a recent interview with MMAFighting, where he was asked if Boxing was as stressful on his body as Wrestling or MMA was:
“Way less,” Askren responded. “In wrestling, you get put in all kinds of really, really strange positions. Boxing is way easier than anything. Jiu-jitsu, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, there’s very little stress comparatively.”
“I love the aspect like training to try and be good at something,” Askren added. “When you think about it, boxing is so much easier than mixed martial arts. You just have to take your two hands and punch somebody in the face.”
“Whereas in mixed martial arts you have to worry about the takedown, you can get takedowns, you can stuff the takedowns, you can clinch them, you can knee them, you can kick them, you can punch them, you can elbow them. Once you’re on the ground, then there’s a whole other boatload of stuff. MMA is almost an information overload. This one is just drilling repetitions, getting in shape, feeling time and distances, that type of stuff.”
Despite how hard Askren says wrestling is on his body, and how difficult training in MMA can be, he hasn’t ever ruled out the possibility of a return to MMA and has been confident that he will wrestle again despite having to undergo hip surgery to repair an old injury from the sport. Even during the buildup for his upcoming fight with Jake Paul, Askren still has one eye on the MMA world as he recently had some choice words for Dillon Danis who coincidentally currently competes for the same promotion that Askren once ruled over.