Since joining the UFC last year via a trade deal with ONE Championship, Ben Askren has created a huge buzz in the promotion. Be it in his controversial win over Robbie Lawler, his devastating loss to Jorge Masvidal, all his trash talking or most recently, his retirement from the sport, ‘Funky’ has made headlines week in, week out, in 2019.

Such buzz would not be possible if not because of the colourful personality of the 35 year old, which served as a jumping board for the former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion. Askren however plans to stay out of the spotlight in the next chapter of his life, and has ruled out coaching MMA. Other than one fighter – Maycee Barber.

“I’m not coaching at Roufus – I’m only coaching Maycee, I will not be coaching MMA,” Askren told MMA Fighting.

Although Askren stated that he will be in Barber’s corner in her quest to become the youngest UFC champion, starting off with a match against Roxanne Modafferi next month at UFC 246, Askren insisted that he won’t be mentoring any other fighters.

“As far as Maycee’s case, I didn’t ever think I was going to be coaching fighting. I didn’t think that was in the cards. They talked me into it, so I am. She’s a lot of fun to work with,” admitted Ben.

The former NCAA Wrestling champion and Olympian discussed how he can help Barber by sharing his first hand experience with the 21 year old flyweight prospect.

“With Maycee, I’m coaching wrestling, and I do have a great perspective on how the wrestling ties into everything else, because I had to do everything else myself. Some of these wrestling coaches haven’t fought a day in their lives, so they don’t know how wrestling ties into everything else. I actually had to go out there and do it.”

When asked about a potential career path on coaching in the collegiate ranks, Askren said that he plans to focus on expanding his very own academy, with his brother Max.

“I think that ship has sailed [on coaching in college], Max and I are opening AWA’s (Askren Wrestling Academy) number four and number five next year, and so I think that’s what I’ll be doing.”

Do you think Ben Askren can help Maycee Barber achieve gold in the UFC?

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