For the first time ever, UFC welterweight and former Olympian Ben Askren will test himself on the mat against one of the greatest American wrestlers of all time as he faces Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs at ‘Grapple at the Garden’ on May 6 in New York.
The marquee showdown takes place to help benefit ‘Beat the Streets’, a non-profit organization focused on a grassroots movement for wrestling in the inner city.
“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,” Beat the Streets Executive Director Brendan Buckley said 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.”
Askren, who is also fighting at UFC 239 against Jorge Masvidal on July 6, will return to sport of wrestling where he once represented the United States in the 2008 Olympic games.
A former two-time NCAA champion, Askren was a highly accomplished grappler before making his move to mixed martial arts where he currently boasts a perfect 19-0 record including his first win in the UFC over Robbie Lawler earlier this year.
As for Burroughs, he is a two-time NCAA champion, a four-time World Champion and he won the Olympic gold medal in 2012. He also competed in the 2016 Olympic games but did not medal that year.
Askren and Burroughs have represented the United States in the Olympics at the same weight class (74kg) for each of the last three cycles, but the two wrestlers have never actually met on the mats before.
Now they will square off in a freestyle rules match on May 6 at the special ‘Grapple at the Garden’ event from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.