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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.


“Ben Askren as a competitor at the highest levels in both wrestling and MMA is a one-of-a-kind story any sports fan should know. What Funky does is lay down the details of his story with the clarity of a man who never holds anything back. He talks about how he had to fail to succeed through the process, and ultimately innovate his style to dominate the competition. Those who believe in the ‘where there's a will there’s a way’ credo will find the greatest example within these pages.”
*Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin*

“Whether you are an elite level athlete or the furthest thing from it, Funky is an inspiring read for all. Every page of Ben Askren’s journey is told with refreshing honesty, which, if you know Ben, is no surprise. This book is for anyone who believes that pure talent or natural athletic prowess is the main factor in achieving greatness or that success is a straight line to the top, Funky will prove you wrong in the best way possible.”
*Laura Sanko, broadcast analyst and reporter*

“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. Funky also gives readers the gifts of Ben’s fascinating and proven approaches to mindset—approaches that helped him defeat far more athletically gifted opponents, and to be one of the great innovators in wrestling history. I am grateful to Ben for taking decades of elite achievement and hard-earned lessons, and condensing them into a book that’s both fun to read and easy to learn from.”
*Alex Epstein, philosopher, energy expert, bestselling author, and BJJ Black Belt*

“Reading Funky was fantastic—what a ride. I thought I knew Ben, but after reading the book I can now say I know Ben Askren. It was everything you’d expect from a champion like him: Fun, informative and well written. His is a one-of-a-kind story.”
*Daniel Cormier, former UFC and Strikeforce champion, US Olympian*

“This is a wonderful and revealing look at one of the greatest American athletes of the last twenty years. From wrestling to MMA, very few have enjoyed success quite like Ben Askren has. The best part? He did it his way. Unapologetically. Even when most have advised against it. I have immense respect for the approach he took to life and fighting, and that comes through in these pages. This book is honest, and I’d expect nothing less from Ben Askren.”
*Ariel Helwani*

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