Many fighters who retire in their prime years do not really stick to their plans. Some of them also look at several scenarios of what they could’ve accomplished after calling it quits.
But not Ben Askren. The 35-year-old “Funky” is dead set on retirement, while criticizing fighters who leave the door open after making their announcement.
“I’m not playing the ‘what if’ game any time.” Askren told MMA Fighting. “I hate the ‘what if’ game. You sound like a d-ck whenever you play that.
“I was a champion for two major organizations. I beat a lot of really good guys. That’s probably where I would leave it.”
Askren did leave the door of his career ajar when he first retired in 2017. At the time, he felt he could still be the best in the world, as he had yet to fight in the biggest organization in the world.
But after two straight losses against elite-level fighters, he admits he was already set to ride off into the sunset right after his most recent fight against Demian Maia.
“I think I was headed that direction,” Askren said. “I had already retired once and then I had the plan with my doctor to do the scope after the fight. Then he said you need the hip resurfacing and that was kind of like I don’t want to keep training like I am because it’s not that fun. It kind of sucked.
“I don’t want to say give me 15 months while I do my hip surgery and I’ll come back. There’s a better option to get on with my life.”
Askren was candid enough to admit that his two losses against Maia and Jorge Masvidal was because he “wasn’t good enough.”