Ben Askren has unexpectedly announced that his MMA career is over, following back-to-back losses to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia. During an appearance on the Helwani Show on Monday, Askren explained to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that he has been dealing with hip issues for years and he is finally prepared to undergo hip replacement surgery.
“I’m retiring from the sport MMA,” Askren said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Frankly, I’m retiring from everything.”
The 35-year old wrestler made his UFC debut on March 2, following his reign as Bellator’s welterweight champion from 2010 to 2013 and ONE’s welterweight title holder from 2014 to 2017. He picked up a controversial first-round submission victory over UFC veteran Robbie Lawler at UFC 235, but was KO’d in just five seconds when he got in the octagon with Jorge Masvidal. Askren suffered his second loss at UFC Fight Night 162 on October 26, as he tapped out in the third round against Demian Maia.
Although the hip has been nagging him for years, Askren made it clear that it is not the reason for his losses in UFC. Says Askren (H/T ESPN’s Marc Raimondi), “I’ve never brought these hip issues up. I don’t want people to think that was the reason I lost. I lost because I wasn’t good enough. My opponents were better. I don’t want these to be viewed as excuses.”
Askren boasts a 19-2 record for his MMA career, and he holds the Bellator record for most successful and consecutive title defenses at four.