Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs talks wrestling against Ben Askren: “Idols become rivals.”

Jordan Burroughs talks wrestling against Ben Askren

All-time freestyle wrestling great Jordan Burroughs wrestled against MMA fighter Ben Askren in 2019. Both Burroughs and Askren are accomplished wrestlers who have represented the United States in the Olympics.

Before he was a world champion in Bellator and ONE Championship, Askren was a highly touted folkstyle collegiate wrestler. In 2008, he wrestled on the US Olympic team as a freestyle wrestler. The 2008 team also included names that MMA fans would easily recognize such as Henry Cejudo and Daniel Cormier.

Jordan Burroughs is considered one of the all-time great wrestlers in freestyle history. Representing the USA he has earned six gold medals in Wrestling World Championships, first place in NCAA Division I wrestling in three competitions, plus an Olympics gold medal in 2012.

In 2019, Askren and Burroughs met on the mat in an official wrestling match for charity.

Jordan Burroughs on wrestling Ben Askren in 2019

New Jersey born wrestler Jordan Burroughs recently sat down with Joe Rogan for an interview on his career. During their discussion, the topic of UFC fighter Ben Askren came up. Jordan Burroughs said Askren was a wrestler that he always had looked up to. Burroughs explained:

“I respect Ben [Askren] a ton. Wrestling Askren. I was in college in 2008 when he was on the Olympic team going to Beijing. I was on the junior world team. I was 20 years old at the time. He was the Olympian so I was like ‘Damn, that’s Ben Askren, like yo look who it is!’ Super cool for me to have that experience.”

Burroughs fondly recalls:

“I remember he took me for a ride to Wal-Mart in his Prius and he let me sit shotgun. From that day on I idolized him. You get to the point where idols become rivals. This guy is doing extremely well in the MMA world. He is a former wrestler but he still has his hand in wrestling.”

On the charity showdown in 2019, Burroughs is proud of how great of a turnout it created, he continued:

“It was a lot of fun. We drew a ton of fans. We sold out the Hulu theatre in Time Square.”

On his dream wrestling matchups, Burroughs listed:

“I want to roll with Conor [McGregor]. It’s probably my dream guy that just like get my hands on and feel a little bit. I think it would be fun. GSP.”

See the full interview below: