After his third-round submission loss to Demian Maia in the main event of UFC Singapore this past weekend, Ben Askren has said retiring from MMA is something he is ‘considering.’
Askren (19-2, 1NC) signed for the UFC in November of last year from ONE Championship. Winning his first fight for the promotion controversially against former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in March, “Funky” then suffered his first loss to Jorge Masvidal in July by KO in just five-seconds, and his second to Maia last weekend.
Talking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Askren admitted he is pondering retirement after his loss to Maia.
“I mean retirement is definitely something I’m considering. I’d be lying to you if I said I was not,” Askren said. “It is a time-cost analysis. I have a lot of things I want to do in my life. I’m a really busy guy. I have a lot of things I am passionate about and love. Not training specifically, but to and from setting stuff up, I spend 30 hours a week on MMA related stuff. Can I place my time better somewhere else is definitely a thought process that crosses my mind. (Transcription via BJ Penn)
“That being said, two more things if I may. All I wanted was an opportunity, that is all I ever said I wanted,” Askren added. “And, I got my opportunity, so it would be hard to be bitter or disgruntled in any way because I had the opportunity I wanted to and I have not been able to execute on that opportunity and that is on me. That is kind of one thought process.
Still confident he can compete at the highest level, Askren feels he had his moments in the fight at UFC Singapore. Maia’s impressive résumé over the last few years in the UFC is something that provided Askren provided a little bit of consolation in his submission loss.
“The other thought process is, part of me wants to fight more. I thought I was doing really well in the Demian Maia fight… Part of me knows I can compete at this level,” he continued. “Demian Maia is a guy who has fought for a world title in multiple weight classes and only losses in the last five-plus years are to the three guys, Marty [Kamaru Usman], Colby [Covington] and Tyron [Woodley]. So, I guess that is something I need to sit and think about and what is next for me.”