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My Defiant Path Through the Wild World of Combat Sports

Published by Permuted Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A riveting memoir by former MMA champion and Olympic wrestler, Ben Askren, who cut a polarizing path through amateur wrestling and professional mixed martial arts as a firebrand figure who fans loved or hated—but could never keep down.

“This is a wonderful and revealing look at one of the greatest American athletes of the last twenty years.” —Ariel Helwani?

One of the most dominant college wrestlers in history, Ben Askren became a folk hero during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, before going on to become a multiple time MMA champion and one of the sport’s biggest stars. Through it all, he emerged as a cult figure in combat sports.

Here, in the pages of Funky, this record-breaking wrestler and polarizing UFC fighter shares how he came to dominate opponents while blazing a trail through competitors in unprecedented ways. Not blessed with natural athleticism, he revolutionized folkstyle wrestling by innovating his own technique, developing a scrambling, unorthodox style, which earned him the famous nickname, “Funky.”

“While legendary wrestler Ben Askren’s memoir Funky is not a self-help book, it is one of the most helpful books you can read if you want to achieve more in life. Unlike the superficial portraits of success that most self-help books give, Funky explains in unvarnished detail the thoughtful persistence that is required—persistence that can take a long time to be rewarded, with plenty of setbacks along the way.” —Alex Epstein, philosopher, energy expert, bestselling author, and BJJ Black Belt

What ensued was an improbable takeover of combat sports by a firebrand who defied tradition, becoming the University of Missouri’s first ever national champion while twice winning the prestigious Dan Hodge trophy. Now, Askren opens up about how he bucked convention, how he used his wrestling base to seize the world of cage-fighting, and how he eventually forced UFC president Dana White to end their decade-long public feud via a historic trade to give the fans what they wanted: Ben Askren in the UFC.

Love him or hate him, win or lose, Ben Askren showed what determination means by staying true to one of his earliest revelations on the mats: “I was never going to let anybody outwork me.”

“Whether you are an elite level athlete or the furthest thing from it, Funky is an inspiring read for all.” —Laura Sanko, broadcast analyst and reporter

About The Author

Ben Askren was one of the most iconic collegiate wrestlers in NCAA history, amassing a record of 153-9 at the University of Missouri, taking home two national titles, and twice winning the Dan Hodge Trophy for being the best college wrestler in the country. He represented the United States in freestyle wrestling at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and later used his wrestling pedigree to win titles in two separate promotions once he transitioned to mixed martial arts. When he retired in 2019 at the age of thirty-three, Askren was not only one of the most accomplished fighters in combat sports history—he was one of the most popular.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Permuted Press (October 25, 2022)
  • Length: 216 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781637583005

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