Ben Askren is considering retirement after his loss to Demian Maia in Singapore on Saturday.
Askren fell to a third round rear naked choke in their main event after an even scrap with exciting ground scrambles. While Askren was in no way starched as he was in his contest with Jorge Masvidal, a second defeat in a row has left the outspoke welterweight feeling as if he needs to workout what he’s doing next with his career.
“Retirement is definitely something I’m considering,” Askren said, speaking on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show. “I would be lying to you if I said I was not. It’s time cross analysis, I have a lot of things I want to do with my life, I’m a really busy guy, I have a lot of things I’m passionate about and I love. Not training specifically, but to and from setting stuff up, spending 30 hours on MMA related stuff, can I place my time better somewhere else is definitely a thought process that’s crossed my mind.
“That being said, all I wanted was an opportunity. That’s all I ever said I wanted. I got my opportunity, so it would be hard to be bitter or disgruntled in anyway because I had the opportunity I wanted, I haven’t been able to execute on that opportunity, and that’s on me. So that’s kind of one thought process, and the other thought process, a part of me wants to fight more. I thought I was doing well against Demian Maia … so part of me knows I can compete at this level, obviously Demian Maia is a guy who’s fought for world titles at multiple weightclasses. His only losses in the last five plus years are to the three guys, [Kamaru Usman], Colby [Covington] and Tyron [Woodley]. So yeah, I guess that’s something I need to sit and think about.”
Askren has actually retired before. After he was unable to get a path into the UFC, he decided to leave active competition, until a sudden chance emerged for him to get into the top promotion. Now, however, he can’t deny the thought of walking away is sticking with him — not because he feels he can’t do well, but because he has a long way to go to prove he’s the best.
“The only thing I came back for was to prove I was the best in the world,” Askren said. “The distinction now is after the Masvidal fight, if I beat Demian Maia, I’m probably one more good win away from the title shot. Now I look at my path and I think holy shit. I’m kind of far away. Fortunes can change fast, but probably minimum three fights. Could be upwards of four, five. Who knows? I don’t need to prove I’m a good fighter, I don’t need to make more money, I don’t need more fame, I don’t really want any of those things all that badly. What I wanted to do was prove I was the best in the world and now I’m looking how far away that is and how long it’s going to take me to get there. And trying to weigh all that out.”