Ben Askren captured two NCAA wrestling title and earned a spot on the 2008 U.S. Summer Olympics team.

After that, it was a quick transition into the world of MMA for the current Bellator welterweight champion.

“I was at American Top Team in Columbia, Missouri,” Askren said, during an interview with “We had a jiu-jitsu coach but no striking coach. That helped get my jiu-jitsu game up to par. We sparred every once in a while. I took my first fight after three or four months of training and I was off from there.”

Askren started his career in 2009, earning three submission wins and a TKO triumph. He has since won seven more fights, including a recent victory over Karl Amoussou.

“I wasn’t nervous going into my first fight, I knew my opponent was over-matched,” Askren said. “The guy I ended up fighting was like 4-6. It was fun, but there isn’t much excitement beating a guy when the competition level isn’t up to yours. I had worked super hard for my best victories. Years of work. So it wasn’t that much of a thrill to hop into MMA for a few months and then go beat someone up.”