Olympic wrestler Ben Askren has decided to take a shot at mixed martial arts and officially joined the American Top Team, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Monday.
Askren, who wrestled at 163 pounds while competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has considered the move to MMA for quite some time now.
Just after returning from China, Askren spoke to MMAWeekly Radio about his pending decision to move into MMA and how working his way up to the top is very important to him.
"I'm not going to go in the cage unprepared," he said on the show. "I'm a worker and I'm going to work. I'm going to get good at what I do. I want to get good at jiu-jitsu, get good at striking, and I'm going to go in there prepared."
At American Top Team, Askren will have some of the best athletes and trainers in the world to work with to prepare him for the move into MMA.
The University of Missouri wrestler, who won the 2006 and 2007 NCAA National Championship in wrestling in the 174-pound weight class, will compete at welterweight in the world of MMA and he has already worked with an ATT affiliate school in Missouri, but will start training with the main academy in Coconut Creek, Fla., beginning in December.
While there is nothing definite that Askren couldn't go back and try for the 2012 Olympics in London remains to be seen, but for now he will work with American Top Team for a future in MMA.