Askren Considering Retirement
Following the first two losses of his career, Ben Askren stands at a crossroads in the aftermath of UFC Singapore.
Askren, who won 18 fights before walking into the UFC, has gone 1-2 in his first three fights for the Endeavor owned organization. Both of his losses came by way of stoppage one of which being on the wrong side of the fastest knockout in UFC history.
“I mean retirement is definitely something I’m considering,” Askren said following his submission loss to Demian Maia this past weekend. “I would be lying to you if I said I was not. It’s a time-cost analysis. 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 and love. Not training specifically but to and from setting stuff up, I spend 30 hours a week on MMA related stuff and ‘Can I place my time better somewhere else?’ is definitely a thought process that crosses my mind.”
“That being said, two more things, if I may,” Askren continued. “All I wanted was an opportunity. That’s all I ever said I wanted. 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. I have not been able to execute on that opportunity and that’s on me. So that is kind of one thought process and the other thought process is, part of me wants to fight more. Like I said, I thought I was doing really well in the Demian Maia fight…
“Part of me knows I can compete at this level. Obviously, Demian Maia is a guy who has fought for a world title at multiple weight classes. His only losses in the last five-plus years are to the three guys, Marty [Kamaru Usman], Colby [Covington] and Tyron [Woodley]. So, I guess that is something I need to sit and think about and what is next for me.”
“I was retired already, one time. I already did that,” Askren said of his time in-between fighting for ONE and the UFC. “And I didn’t come back for fame – although that’s probably happened – I didn’t come back to make money – although that’s happened as well – the only thing that I came back for was to try to prove I was the best in the world. So the distinction now is that after the Masvidal fight, if I beat Demian Maia I’m probably one more good win away from the title shot. Now I look at my path and I think, ‘Oh sh*t, I’m kind of far away.’
“Fortunes can change fast but I would say probably minimum of three fights but it could be upwards of four or five, who knows? So I don’t need to prove I’m a good fighter, I don’t need to make more money, I don’t need to be more famous. I don’t really want any of those things all that badly. What I wanted to do was prove I’m the best in the world and now I’m looking at how far that is and how long it’s going to take me to get there and trying to way all that out.”
“Obviously it’s been proven that today, or Saturday night, or July 6th, I was definitely not the best in the world,” Askren said. “But are there ways that I can beat everybody in my division? I think the answer to that is yes, I just have not proven that yet. So I guess I’ll say for this time, no I am not but is there a path where I am, I think the answer to that is still yes.”
Initial Report: MMA Fighting