Ben Askren has retired from mixed martial arts again.
"Funky" retired in 2017 following his win over Shinya Aoki to defend his One Championship welterweight title. He said he just wanted to prove he was the best in the world but could not do that. That retirement ended in 2018 after the Ultimate Fighting Championship acquired Askren's contract, and he would go on to go 1-2 in three fights inside the Las Vegas-based promotion.
Now, Askren says the need of a new hip has resulted in him stepping away from the game.
“I’m retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts and frankly I’m retiring from everything,” Askren said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “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.
“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.”
In the UFC, he beat Robbie Lawler but was then knocked out by Jorge Masvidal in five-seconds and submitted by Demian Maia. Even though he could not prove he was the best in the world, he ends his career with a record of 19-2 and one no-contest. He is also the former Bellator MMA and One Championship welterweight champion.
Although he is retiring due to his hip, he makes it clear the hip is not the reason he lost to Masvidal and Maia. Instead, he says he just isn’t good enough but is happy he at least got a shot in the UFC.