Ben Askren Admits He Is Considering Retirement From MMA
Former Bellator Welterweight champion Ben "Funky" Askren is seriously considering retirement after his latest defeat to Demian Maia at UFC Singapore.
Askren, a two-time NCAA national champion wrestler, entered the UFC with an undefeated record after a trade deal involving ONE Championship and Demetrious Johnson.
He soon picked up a debut win against Robbie Lawler thanks to a controversial submission.
But the 35-year-old has since suffered two defeats against Jorge Masvidal and 'grappling king' Maia, something that's left Askren questioning his future.
"Retirement is definitely something I am considering," Askren said on "Ariel Helwani's MMA Show" on Monday.
"I would be lying to you if I said I was not. It's just a time-cost analysis. I have a lot of things to do in my life. I'm a really busy guy. I have a lot of things I'm passionate about, and I love. Not training specifically, but to and from setting stuff up, I'm probably spending about 30 hours a week on MMA related stuff.
"'Can I place my time better somewhere else' is definitely a thought process that's crossed my mind."
Askren also spoke about what could have happened if he was victorious against Maia on Saturday.
"If I beat Demian Maia I'm probably one more good win away from a title shot," Askren said.
"Now I look at my path, and I'm like 'Oh s-t.' I'm kind of far away. Fortunes can change fast, but it's probably minimum, minimum three fights. It could be upwards of four or five. Who knows?
"I don't need to prove I'm a good fighter. I don't need more money. I don't need to be more famous. I don't really want any of those things that badly.
"What I wanted to do was prove I'm the best in the world, and now I'm looking at how far away that is and how long it's going to take me to get there and trying to weigh all that out."
Made a bad decision and I failed. Sorry to everyone who I let down.- Ben Askren (@Benaskren) October 26, 2019
So will Askren, realistically, fight again after his latest setback? It appears he is undecided.
"I would say my feelings are very, very mixed," he said.
"There's parts of me that say, 'Yeah, of course I want to fight some more. I think I can still compete with the best guys in the world.' I've beaten some of the best guys in the world. Douglas Lima, I was really happy to see him get some credit this weekend after beating Rory MacDonald, because I think he's fantastic.
"Part of me says, 'Man, I've got a lot of things I want to do with my life, so I need to get to getting.'"