Kamaru Usman Takes Shot at Ben Askren After Lopsided Loss in Wrestling Exhibition

By: Tristen Critchfield
May 7, 2019

Jordan Burroughs left no doubt. And Kamaru Usman couldn’t resist taking a jab at his fallen UFC welterweight rival.

Burroughs, a former Olympic gold medalist, defeated Ben Askren 11-0 by technical fall in their exhibition wrestling match at Beat the Streets “Grapple at the Garden” on Monday night at Hulu Theatre inside Madison Square Garden. It was the 10th annual fundraising event put together by Beat the Streets, which is the largest grassroots inner city wrestling program in the United States.

Burroughs set the tone for his victory early, driving Askren to the mat with a single-leg takedown at the outset of their 74 kg — or approximately 163-pound — match. Burroughs led 5-0 after one minute and 9-0 after one round.

Usman, the reigning UFC welterweight champion, took to Twitter to taunt Askren after the match’s conclusion.

“When s—t talking goes wrong…good thing that was just a wrestling match,” he wrote. “Great job as always [Jordan Burroughs]. Great show.”

Usman and Askren got into a confrontation backstage prior at a pre-fight press conference to promote UFC 235, an where Usman defeated Tyron Woodley to capture welterweight gold. Askren had offered to fight Usman for an interim title at UFC 233 to save the event, but the card was ultimately canceled. Since signing with the Las Vegas-based promotion, Askren has made a habit of getting under his cohorts skin, particularly on social media.

Askren was a two-time NCAA Division I national championship wrestler at the University of Missouri in 2006 and 2007. He qualified for the Olympics in 2008 but did not medal in Beijing. “Funky” is 19-0 in MMA, having won titles in Bellator MMA and One Championship. Askren will face Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas in his second Octagon appearance.

Burroughs, meanwhile, was a two-time national champion at Nebraska. He twice qualified for the U.S. Olympic team, capturing gold in 2012 at the London games. Burroughs is undefeated at the last nine Beat the Streets events and is a four-time freestyle wrestling world champion.

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