Ben Askren is calling it a career. After suffering back-to-back losses — which were the first two losses of his professional mixed martial arts career — the former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight titleholder is calling it a career.
Askren announced his decision to hang up his gloves on Monday, November 18.
“It’s fairy obvious what I’m going to say. I’m retired from the sport of mixed martial arts and frankly, I’m retired from everything,” Askren said during an appearance on the Ariel Helwani Show. “I was thinking about it when we had last talked. I’ve been having hip problems and I finally had this discussion with my doctor … and I need a hip replacement. That’s it for me. I’ve been thinking about this for a week and what I was going to say. Really happy to have been filled with gratitude for how great of a career I’ve been able to have even though obviously in the end, it didn’t go my way.
“I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to see if I could do it. Because I never got that opportunity. I think that would have eaten at me as I got older.”
"I'm retired from the sport of mixed martial arts and frankly, I'm retired from everything."@Benaskren cites needing a hip replacement as a factor in his retirement (via @arielhelwani) pic.twitter.com/OZLG2ZDTBj
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 18, 2019
The retirement does not come as a surprise, with Askren previously mulling retirement after suffering his second consecutive loss.
Prior to joining the UFC, Askren was considered one of the best welterweights on the planet. He held a record of 18-0 and was a former Bellator and two-division ONE champion. In his UFC debut, Askren kept his perfect record intact but it was a controversial victory over Robbie Lawler.
Since then, Askren was on the wrong end of a five-second knockout to Jorge Masvidal and most recently his submission loss to Maia.
Best of luck to Askren in whatever he decides to do next now that his mixed martial arts career is a wrap.