Two straight losses haven’t derailed Ben Askren’s confidence.
Askren retired in 2017 because he could not get a shot in the UFC to prove he was the best welterweight in the world. Yet, this year that all changed. He made his Octagon debut in March with a submission win over Robbie Lawler. Since then though, he lost in five-seconds to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 and then was submitted by Demian Maia. His stock has dropped due to the setbacks and now said he is contemplating retirement.
“I was retired already, one time. I already did that,” Askren said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “And I didn’t come back for fame – although that’s probably happened – I didn’t come back to make money – although that’s happened as well – the only thing that I came back for was to try to prove I was the best in the world. So the distinction now is that 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, ‘Oh s**t, I’m kind of far away.’
“Fortunes can change fast but I would say probably [a] minimum of three fights but it could be upwards of four or five, who knows? So I don’t need to prove I’m a good fighter. I don’t need to make more money, I don’t need to be more famous. I don’t really want any of those things all that badly. What I wanted to do was prove I’m the best in the world. And now I’m looking at how far that is and how long it’s going to take me to get there and trying to way all that out.”
Ben Askren still believes he can prove he is the best fighter in the world.
“Obviously it’s been proven that today, or Saturday night, or July 6th, I was definitely not the best in the world,” Askren said. “But are there ways that I can beat everybody in my division? I think the answer to that is yes, I just have not proven that yet. So I guess I’ll say for this time, no I am not. But, is there a path where I am, I think the answer to that is still yes.”
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/29/2019.