UFC welterweight Ben Askren is officially calling it a day from the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Askren announced the news Monday on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show citing that he has been dealing with hip problems and now requires a hip replacement.
“It’s fairy obvious what I’m going to say. I’m retired from the sport of mixed martial arts and frankly, I’m retired from everything,” Askren said. “I was thinking about it when we had last talked. I’ve been having hip problems and I finally had this discussion with my doctor … and I need a hip replacement.
“That’s it for me. I’ve been thinking about this for a week and what I was going to say. Really happy to have been filled with gratitude for how great of a career I’ve been able to have even though obviously in the end, it didn’t go my way.”
Askren unretired in 2018 as he was traded to the UFC from ONE Championship in exchange for Demetrious Johnson. He had a controversial debut in a first-round submission win over Robbie Lawler.
His next two fights were more definitive as he was knocked out by Jorge Masvidal and most recently, submitted by Demian Maia. Despite losing his undefeated record and having an underwhelming UFC career, “Funky” is grateful for the opportunity:
“I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to see if I could do it,” he added of his UFC career. “Because I never got that opportunity. I think that would have eaten at me as I got older.”
He retires as a former champion for Bellator and ONE Championship with a 19-2 record and one no contest.
What do you make of “Funky” retiring?