Ben Askren On What It Will Take For Him To Come Out Of Retirement
Ben Askren announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on November 28th, 2019. His last three fights were competed in the UFC, with his final fight being a loss to Demian Maia, at UFC Singapore. ‘Funky’ was a dominant force in ONE Championship and Bellator, winning world titles in both organisations.
Now he is considering making a return to action. Given the right circumstances, Askren is willing to come out of retirement and resume fighting. Speaking on his own podcast, The Funky & FRB Show (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), the former wrestling standout laid out the terms for his comeback.
“So here’s the deal: I would never make like full-fledge, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go fight, I’m gonna chase the title. But I love combat. I enjoy wrestling. I enjoy fighting. So yeah, if someone said, ‘Here’s some money, go fight one time. Here’s the right opponent, let’s have some fun.’ I probably would, you know?”
Askren initially retired from MMA after defending the ONE welterweight title against Shinya Aoki back in 2017. However, he returned to the sport in a blockbuster trade that sent him to the UFC and Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship. ‘Funky’ has said that if he were to return, he would continue fighting in the UFC.
“I feel like I’m gonna have to do something to make sure I don’t get too heavy. So I’m gonna have to compete in some way, shape, or form, might as well get paid for it. So I don’t see why not. And obviously, I’ve told you the UFC has expressed interest in giving me another fight but dude, my hip is so bad. So yeah, in a year or so.”
Before joining the UFC, Askren won the Bellator welterweight title, making four successful title defences. He then went on to join ONE Championship, winning the ONE welterweight title and defending the belt four times.
If Ben Askren were to come out of retirement, who would you like to see him fight?