Ben Askren recently had his first taste of defeat as a pro mixed martial artist. This bitter dish was served up by Jorge Masvidal, who finished the pair’s UFC 239 fight with a flying knee knockout in just five seconds.
While it’s hard to imagine a more brutal way to lose, Askren has been extremely open about this setback. That, he says, is by design. He feels anything else would have been counterproductive, and he points to the career-ending losses of Ronda Rousey as proof of that.
After losing to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, both times by knockout, Rousey went silent, and was widely criticized for her failure to address these defeats.
“I think that’s the worst thing you can do,” Askren told Damon Martin of MMA Fighting, discussing fighters who hide from their losses. “I mean obviously if you want to point to who did it the worst was Ronda [Rousey].
“I always feel like I want to tell my story the way I want to tell it, and if you hide in the corner, everyone else is going to talk about what you’re going to do. Listen, it happens. It’s part of the sport or even life for that matter. Losses happen. I think the best thing you can do is say, ‘That happened. What am I going to do now?’”
Askren continued, sharing his belief that Rousey could have greatly diminished the damage these losses did to her career if she’d just addressed them.
“I think that lack of candor on her part leads to a lot of speculation from everybody else,” Askren said of Rousey. “If she sets the record straight, it sort of shuts all that down.”
Ben Askren is set to return to action at UFC Singapore next month. He’ll battle former UFC title challenger Demian Maia in the card’s main event.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/30/2019.