When it comes to commodities in the world of MMA, Ben Askren is one of them. A former Bellator and ONE Welterweight Champion, Askren was able to accomplish a lot through his career.
Is there anything he would have done differently?
Askren (19-2, 1 NC) would end up posting on Twitter answers from his recent AMA. The above question was one of them. Starting in 2009 following an extremely successful wrestling career, Askren became a star in MMA. With various accolades, Askren would be able to have a consistent career from 2009 until 2019.
“As far as the career path I took, had I been able to foresee the future, I don’t think so,” Askren said when asked about changing anything. “When I was 3-0 and Bellator offered me that deal, I thought that was a really great deal. I thought it was an outstanding opportunity, which it was. My time in Bellator went really well. At the end of that when my negotiation came up, it didn’t work out with Dana (White) and the UFC.
“To this day, I still don’t know why, so I couldn’t change that. I found a great home in ONE Championship. Everything went well there. I retired, I came back… I wouldn’t change anything.”
I get asked often if there is anything I would have done differently with my MMA career. Here ya go. pic.twitter.com/TJEqd7XPgS
— Funky (@Benaskren) August 10, 2020
Askren was signed by Bellator in 2010. He ended up 9-0 with the promotion, beating Lyman Good for the Bellator Welterweight Title. He defended the belt four times before moving to ONE Championship. In his first fight, he beat Nobutatsu Suzuki for the ONE Welterweight Title. He defended it three times, vacating it after in 2017 and retiring from MMA.
While still technically with ONE, Askren was traded to the UFC for Demetrious Johnson. The multi-time freestyle wrestling champion would beat Robbie Lawler despite getting dropped on his head in the opening seconds of their fight at UFC 235. He would then lose to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 and Demian Maia via submission in October. The Masvidal fight would put him in the record books for the fastest knockout in UFC history.
Crediting his trainers, Askren did state that something different could have altered his career.
“I never really had a great jiu-jitsu coach until really the end of my career when I found Marc Laimon,” Askren went on to say. “I really enjoyed him… But before that, there was really a mix of different jiu-jitsu coaches at Roufu(sport) and I think that my potential to choke people out was untapped.”
“I was the best pinner in the modern era of college wrestling, and I think if I would have went to work with, say, the Danaher Death Squad or Marcelo Garcia, I could have really tapped into that at a much higher level… If I would have put some more time into jiu-jitsu, I think I could have gotten better choking people.”
Askren currently hosts podcasts and makes various media appearances talking all things MMA.