Ben Askren considering retirement after One FC deal, says he is going to ‘try and do it the right way’

Ben Askren will ponder retirement when he nears the end of his One FC deal. The former Bellator welterweight champion holds an undefeated 12-0…

By: Karim Zidan | 9 years ago
Ben Askren considering retirement after One FC deal, says he is going to ‘try and do it the right way’
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Ben Askren will ponder retirement when he nears the end of his One FC deal.

The former Bellator welterweight champion holds an undefeated 12-0 record in MMA competition, including nine consecutive wins in the Bellator cage. He defended his title on four separate occasions, including his most recent victory against Andrey Kreshokov at Bellator 97.

While Askren’s record and dominance speak for themselves, he found himself released from Bellator following the conclusion of his contract. Following unsuccessful talks with the UFC, Askren signed with One FC, where he is scheduled to make his debut on Friday, May 30, against Bakhtiyar Abboasov.

“Funky” is only just beginning his One FC deal, but was not shy to discuss the possibility of retirement after completing his deal with Asian promotion.

“[Retirement] is definitely a possibility,” Askren said on The MMA Hour. “My two things I always said was 1) I would be retired by the time I had my first kid. 2) I’d be retired by the time I’m 30.  I had my first kid and I’m not done yet, and I’m turning 30 later this year. So those two landmarks that I have set for myself I’m passing by. I still train at a very high level. I still compete at a very high level.”

While Askren is uncertain about what the future holds, he has no intention of outstaying his welcome in the sport.

“Obviously everyone knows it is hard to hang it up, but I’m definitely going to try and do it the right way and no like how combat athletes have done and hold on too long for every last fleeting moment.

“I don’t want to be one of those people.”

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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