Ben Askren’s Retirement Fight Set For November


Although he’s never competed in the UFC, Ben Askren has long been considered to be one of the very best 170 pounders in the world.

At just 33 years of age, however, the former Bellator welterweight champion and reigning ONE Championship welterweight champion is preparing for his final bout.

Evolve MMA founder Chatri Sityodtong took his official Facebook page earlier today (Sept. 4, 2017) to announce that Askren will be taking on Shinya Aoki on Nov. 24 in Singapore. Sityodtong confirmed that it will be “Funky’s” last fight.

Askren, a highly decorated collegiate wrestler who holds a perfect 17-0 professional MMA record, has defended his ONE title three times to date, most recently scoring a one-sided stoppage victory over Zebaztian Kadestam this past weekend (Sept. 2, 2017) in Shanghai.

Aoki, on the other hand, is an experienced veteran, holding a 39-7-1 professional record, while holding a 5-1 record under the ONE banner. Aoki is most known for his grappling pedigree, as 25 of his professional victories have come by way of submission. He’s coming off of a loss, but prior to that he had won nine consecutive bouts, and he may very well be able to offer Askren a challenge.

Do you expect Askren to end his career on a high note?

  • Dave WC

    This guy clearly doesn’t care about his legacy. Boring fighter who never fought anyone elite, and going out against an undersized lightweight. Aoki will likely be putting lead in his pockets for the weigh in.

    • Draven

      He beat Koreshkov and Douglas Lima in Bellator who are both elite fighters. Not his fault that the UFC doesn’t think highly of him or his work.

      • Dave WC

        What makes them elite? Who have they beat? Eachother and a few UFC washouts? If Askren put his ego ASI he probably could have gone to the UFC. I’m sure he realized he wouldn’t remain undefeated though.

        • Draven

          The UFC isn’t the be all end all u know. There are many good fighters out there not signed with the UFC. You probably think Michael Chandler is s bum too …

  • steven

    It is unfortunate. It was actually Bjorn Rebney who cut him from Bellator. I thought it was a bitch move at the time, but Bjorn thought he was “being like Dana” and making a statement similar to when the UFC cut Fitch and Shields. I believe he thought it was a way of making a splash statement in terms of PR, (for himself? for the company? maybe both?), and perhaps would gain Bellator some credibility…as if they had talent to burn. I am inclined to believe it was simply a bitch move and that it hurt everybody– including the sport itself.

    Ryan Bader is not an exciting fighter. When he fought Rumble Johnson, he was visibly terrified and showed zero “warrior spirit.” Yet Bellator welcomed him with open arms as if they could not wait to get the title out of Phil Davis’ hands. Now Phil, has a history of not moving the needle as well, but when they last fought, he showed far superior evolution in his striking/standup although much of the flashy stuff did not land and he clearly did not do enough damage with it…still he showed a far greater upside in that respect, and yet a far more pedestrian Bader is welcomed as their champion.

    Interestingly though, it may be telling that a “fighter-friendly”, well-liked, well respected cat like Scott Coker was unwilling to extend the proverbial “olive branch” and bring him back. Then again, I guess Askren has made crazy money over there…plus the Aoki fight will sell out a major venue guaranteeing another huge cash windfall for the “Funky” one– which also may explain the “premature” exit. Legacy aside, who else was willing to pay him that kind of money? I leave you to ponder that. But to your point, his being cut from Bellator definitely moved him further away from the type of opposition he needed to secure a meaningful legacy.

    • Draven

      Who wouldn’t be terrified of Rumble? He was a monster who ran thru the division, delivering KO’s left and right to everyone not named Cormier.

      Bader can be an exciting fighter. He was having a good fight with Glover before he got caught and KOed, his KO of latifi was awesome, his first fight with Davis was fun. I think you just underestimate his abilities.

      As for the title fight, Davis was originally paired with King Mo (I think) but Mo pulled out and inserted Bader which makes sense.

  • Johnny Carcosa

    One of the best fighter of this era

  • Shock Wave

    I’d like to see Askren vs Maia.
    Only match up where Ben would get broken.