From NCAA to MMA: More college wrestlers are fighting on
April 03, 2019


PITTSBURGH -- This is his home, and these are 18,000 of his friends, so Ben Askren doesn't hesitate when he sees a pocket of open seats.

"Are these taken?" he says to three middle-aged dudes in Iowa State gear.

The strangers immediately recognize Askren -- the UFC star and former Missouri All-American wrestler -- but they barely look up from the eight matches below. Here at the NCAA wrestling championships in mid-March, Askren is an A-list star, but he's like a famous person at his own family reunion -- so popular and well-known that nobody really bothers him for selfies or introductions. He's just good ol' Uncle Ben walking around.