Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight star, Ben Askren, has decided to hang up his gloves.
In October 2018, Askren became a part of the historic trade in mixed martial arts after his former company, ONE Championship, sent him to the UFC in exchange of flyweight great, Demetrious Johnson.
A former undefeated champion both in ONE Championship and Bellator MMA, ‘Funky’ quickly made his presence felt on his arrival by calling out almost the entire welterweight roster.
The UFC booked him against former champion, Robbie Lawler, for his highly-awaited debut.
Bucking a slow start, Askren pulled off a controversial come-from-behind win as he stopped Lawler with a bulldog choke in their UFC 235 clash.
Unfortunately, that win turned out to be the last for the American fighter.
In his next outing, the ex-Olympian found himself on the wrong side of history.
Against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239, he was knocked out just five seconds into the opening round – the fastest ever in the UFC.
On his return to Asia to headline UFC Singapore, he failed to bounce back from that ugly knockout loss as he was submitted by Demian Maia in their main event fight.
Speaking to ESPN in a recent interview, Askren said he is retiring from sport because he has to undergo hip replacement surgery.
“I’m retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts and frankly I’m retiring from everything.”
“I’ve been having hip problems and I finally had the discussion with my doctor and I actually got the MRI before my last fight and I need a hip replacement.”
Capping his professional MMA career with a 19-2 win-loss record, Askren said he is happy about the journey despite ending it with two straight losses.
“That’s it for me. I’ve been thinking about this for a week and kind of what I was going to say.”
“Really I’ve just been filled with gratitude for how great of a career I’ve been able to have, even though in the end it did not turn out to go my way.”
Askren explained that this hip injury has been bothering him even before he was traded to the UFC.
Things then turned worse when he began preparing for his promotional debut.
“When I came back, I’ve been having hip issues for three to five years somewhere in there. When I came back and started training in December it got really bad.”
“I visited my doctors in Columbia, who I kept in touch with, that’s where I went to college, and I went down there and I got an x-ray and I got a PRP (platelet rich plasma) shot.”
“The PRP shot helped significantly with the pain but not with the mobility at all.”
“They saw the x-ray and said you’re all jacked up but you can just keep going and whenever you’re done we’ll fix it.”
“In August, it had gotten pretty bad again and I went down there and got another PRP shot and that didn’t really help all that much,” he added.
View this post on Instagram
On the @arielhelwani show, Ben Askren announced his retirement from MMA! I am saddened about this but completely respect his decision. I enjoyed your fights @benaskren #mma #ufc #ufcfight #ufcfights #mmatraining #ufcfighter #mmafighter #mmafighters #ufcfighters #benaskren #onechampionship #bellator #danawhite #robbielawler #jorgemasvidal #demianmaia #tyronwoodley #colbycovington #welterweight #danawhite #middleweight #conormcgregor #natediaz
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/ Ben Askren)