Ben Askren retired from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) back in late 2019 after suffering back-to-back losses to Jorge Masvidal (knockout) and Demian Maia (submission). His abrupt departure marks the second time “Funky” has called it quits ... but will it be his last?
“I would say, never say never,” Askren told MMA Fighting. “I think it’s unlikely, but I’m gonna wrestle next year. Not WWE wrestle, but real wrestle. I need a reason to train and stay in shape. I’m definitely going to try and get some wrestling matches next year just so I can have a reason to stay in shape and I’m at the wrestling academy five days a week anyways so it won’t change that much.”
Askren, 36, went under the knife to repair a faulty hip, no doubt a byproduct of his wrestling lifestyle. How much that nagging injury played a part in his unsuccessful run inside the Octagon is unknown, but “Funky” appears to be pain free for the first time in years.
“My doctor doesn’t think that anyone has had the surgery and then fought professionally afterwards,” Askren continued. “He’s done a few golfers, and he’s done like 950 of these. He’s one of the preeminent guys that does them. And that’s one of the reasons I was excited about this specific surgery because if you do the full hip replacement, you don’t do shit. You can’t run, you can’t wrestle, you can’t grapple, you’re out on everything. With the surgery that I got, I should be able to be full go after a year.”
Askren retired with a 19-2 (1 NC) record and was part of a historic trade that sent former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship in Singapore. “Mighty Mouse” has since gone 3-0 with one submission.