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Is Ben Askren retired? Examining the former ONE Championship and UFC star's MMA career

Ben Askren of the United States of America
Ben Askren of the United States of America
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Modified 25 Dec 2020, 16:20 IST
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Former Bellator, ONE Championship, and UFC Welterweight Ben Askren retired from active competition after his loss to Demian Maia back in 2019.

Then just 35 years old, Askren was in the middle of his one-year tenure in UFC when he announced his retirement. The message came as a shock to many fans who had been waiting to see the Funkmaster in the UFC Octagon. 

"I'm retiring from the sport of MMA. Frankly, I'm retiring from everything. I've been having hip problems, and I finally had the discussion with my doctor ... and I need a [left] hip replacement. So, man, that's it for me," said Aksren.

Askren has since had his hip replacement and has been contemplating a return to the Octagon. The American has also been having an online feud with Youtuber Jake Paul, with rumors of a potential boxing match between the duo in 2021. 

I would say, never say never. I think it’s unlikely, but I’m gonna wrestle next year. Not WWE wrestle, but real wrestle. I need a reason to train and stay in shape. With the surgery that I got, I should be able to be full go after a year.

The career of 'Funky' Ben Askren 

Ben Askren came to Mixed Martial Arts as a two-time NCAA champion. The American was known for his unorthodox style of wrestling and his ability to pin his opponents (he holds the record for the most number of pins in a college season). 

Ben Askren of the United States (top) fights Agilan Thani of Malaysia
Ben Askren of the United States (top) fights Agilan Thani of Malaysia

His transition into MMA saw him use a similar skillset. Askren picked up the Bellator Welterweight title by beating Lyman Good back in 2010. 

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Askren is known for his ability on the top; a grappler who concentrates more on a position than submission. In fact, most of his stoppages via knockout have come with him on the top, his opponents pinned under him and the referee forced to stop the fight due to unanswered shots.

Ben Askren came into UFC as part of a trade which saw Demetrious Johnson going to ONE championship. The 36-year-old won his first fight in the UFC against former champion Robbie Lawler in a controversial stoppage. 

However, he went on to lose via a 7-second KO in the hands of Jorge Masvidal. His subsequent loss in UFC, via a rear-naked choke against Maia, was his last fight. 

Published 24 Dec 2020, 18:13 IST
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