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Ben Askren eyeing retirement at conclusion of ONE contract

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Ben Askren is one of the best fighters in the world. And we may never get to see him match up with his elite peers.

The ONE Championship welterweight champ said he will likely retire at the end of his current contract, which has six fights remaining. Askren will defend his belt against Nikolay Aleksakhin in the main event of ONE: Global Rivals on Friday in the Philippines.

“I’ve got six fights left with ONE,” Askren told MMA Fighting. “Then I told them, it’s not a guarantee I’ll be done, but I think there’s a high likelihood that after those six fights I’ll be calling it a day.”

Askren, 31, said he’d like to fight three times this year and there’s a possibility he could fight three times next year. So, the former Bellator champion’s career could come to a close in late 2017 or early 2018.

“You never know what life is going to throw your way and I would never say never, but I think that’s definitely the way I’m learning,” Askren said. “I did say I wanted to be retired by 30, whether it was wrestling or mixed martial arts.”

Askren (14-0, 1 NC) was a free agent in 2013 after a dominant run in Bellator when UFC president Dana White infamously told him to go get more experience in World Series of Fighting before the UFC would sign him. That ignited a feud between Askren and White and led the former Olympic wrestler to ONE.

“Funky” won’t put a guarantee on it, but he’s leaning toward hanging up the gloves rather than testing the open market again. Askren coaches youth wrestling and also has a growing family.

“When you’re competing, you need to be selfish,” he said. “You need to think of yourself first. You need to take care of yourself ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting