Ben Askren

Ben Askren considering retirement following loss to Demian Maia

UFC welterweight Ben Askren may be calling an end to his career for the second time. Following his loss to Demian Maia at UFC Singapore, Askren spoke on Monday about the future of his career and he did not shy away from retirement being a possibility.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Askren noted that things have not gone as he had planned since coming to the UFC one year ago, and he’d be okay with calling it a career.

“Retirement is definitely something I’m considering, I’d be lying to you if I said it was not. I have a lot of things I want to do in my life, I’m a really busy guy, I have a lot of things I’m passionate about that I love. Not training specifically but to and from setting stuff up, spending say 30 hours a week on MMA related stuff, can I place my time better somewhere else is definitely a thought process that has crossed my mind.”

Having gone undefeated throughout his career until suffering his first professional loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 and now on a two-fight losing streak, when Askren came over to the UFC from ONE Championship, he always noted he just wanted to show he was the best welterweight fighter in the world. Two losses have hurt those efforts, but Askren told Helwani, getting the opportunity is all he ever wanted.

“All I wanted was an opportunity, that’s all I ever said I wanted right? And I got my opportunity so it would be hard to be bitter or disgruntled in any way because I had the opportunity I wanted to. I have not been able to execute on the opportunity and that’s on me. That’s one part of it, the second part of it is that part of me wants to fight more.”

Although things have not gone his way since coming over to the UFC, Askren has always faced the critics no matter what’s happened inside the cage. During their conversation, Helwani asked Ben Askren if he loved fighting and ‘Funky’ was open and candid in his response.

“Do I love fighting? Well I would give you the answer that I never really loved fighting in the first place. Never. I loved wrestling. But fighting for me was like it was the intrigue of the challenge, can I be the best at this? It was I still get to kind of compete and use my physical body which I really enjoyed and it was a great way to make a living. So I think those are three things that I really enjoy but I don’t know and I don’t think there was ever for me a love for the sport of MMA, if I say I feel similarly about wrestling. I don’t know, I like wrestling way more.”

Coming off back-to-back losses in his career, Ben Askren sounds at peace with his MMA career and takes full responsibility for things not going the way he had planned. If his fight against Demian Maia was his last fight, Ben Askren will have a 19-2 record with one No Contest in his career while holding the welterweight titles in both ONE and Bellator during his career.