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Former UFC champ Chris Weidman pays tribute to Ben Askren: ‘You were a huge inspiration to me’

Chris Weidman pays homage to Ben Askren following ‘Funky’s’ abrupt retirement from MMA.

UFC Fight Night: Reyes v Weidman Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Earlier this week, former ONE FC and Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren announced his retirement from MMA.

Askren decided to retire following an unsuccessful stint in the UFC, where the 35-year-old suffered a humiliating knockout at the hands of Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal and a third-round submission defeat to Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 162. ‘Funky’s’ lone submission victory over former UFC welterweight champ Robbie Lawler is marred by controversy, as the general consensus is that ‘Ruthless’ didn’t tap out.

With that said, Askren was still regarded as a formidable talent in the grappling world and former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman, who wrestled with Askren in high school, hailed the former Olympian as one of the biggest inspirations of his career.

“Congrats @Benaskren on an amazing career!You were a huge inspiration to me and many more. From wrestling you in high school when I was very young to watching you throughout your wrestling and Mma careers.I learned a lot from your unique techniques as well as your mindset #funky,” Weidman posted on Twitter.

Askren, who humbly admitted that he ‘wasn’t good enough’ to compete at the highest level in the UFC, retires with multiple world titles to his name and a professional record of 19-2 (1 NC).

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