Ben Askren has officially retired.
“Funky” — who recently teased the possibility of hanging up his gloves — appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show to officially announce that he would be walking away from the fight game after a decade-long career in the hurt business. Which is much longer if you count his career as a wrestler.
“I’m retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts. Frankly, I am retiring from everything,” said Askren.
According to the former ONE champ, he ultimately came to his final decision after talking it over with his doctor, who told him that he is need of hip replacement surgery.
“I was thinking about it since we last talked, I was considering it, but, I am having hip problems and I finally had the discussion with my doctor and I got an MRI from my last fight; I need a hip replacement,” he added.
If you recall, former UFC Heavyweight smashing machine, Mark Coleman, also retired from the fight game in 2013 due to hip issues.
“So that’s it for me. I’ve been thinking about this for a week, kind of what I was going to say. I’m filled with gratitude for what great of career I have been able to have even though obviously in the end it did not turn out my way.”
Indeed, after starting off his career with a near-mint 19-0-1 mark, which includes winning the Bellator MMA and ONE Championship Welterweight titles, Askren ended his career with two straight defeats.
In his previous outing, “Funky” was choked out by Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 162 a few weeks ago in Singapore (see it here). Prior to that, Ben suffered a five-second knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 (highlights).
Askren also wanted to make it crystal clear that his hip issues have nothing to do with his losses.
“And I want to say this up front. Obviously I’ve known these hip issues for a while and I never brought them up for a reason, because I don’t want people to think I’m using this as a reason why I lost,” he added.
“I lost because I wasn’t good enough. Plain and simple. My opponents beat me and they were better than me. I want that said out there. These hip issues for me are totally separate. I lost because I wasn’t good enough. These obviously seems like excuses, but I do not want them viewed in that light,” he concluded.
Still, Askren did score a win inside the Octagon after submitting Robbie Lawler at UFC 235 earlier this year. All told, Askren leaves the sport of MMA with a 19-2-1 mark.