Just three fights into his UFC career, Ben Askren announced on Monday that he’s considering retirement during an appearance on the Ariel Helwani Show.
After joining the UFC in a blockbuster trade that sent Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship, Askren came to the promotion with high aspirations after rattling off 18 consecutive victories without a loss. But after back-to-back losses — his most recent via third-round submission to Demian Maia — the 35 year old is contemplating the end of his fighting career.
“Retirement is definitely something I am considering,” he said. “I would be lying to you if I said I was not. It’s 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’m passionate about and I love.”
It’s safe to say Askren’s tenure in the UFC hasn’t gone as planned. He dominated Bellator from 2010-2013, then ran through the competition in ONE Championship before moving over to fight Robbie Lawler in a highly-anticipated UFC debut. His record could very well be 0-3 if not for a remarkable recovery and an early stoppage at the hands of referee Herb Dean that resulted in Askren’s come-from-behind victory in March.
The previously unbeaten welterweight’s following fight could very well be the emblematic of his entire UFC tenure — stopping before it every really began, with the quickest knockout in the organization’s history at the hands of Jorge Masvidal. Fast-forward nearly four months later and Askren is rethinking his future.
As for now, his feelings are “very mixed,” and it’s possible we may never see him compete in the Octagon again.