Former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight titleholder Ben Askren has some financial advice for his fellow fighters.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Askren, who recently retired from competition after a 1-2 stretch in the UFC, emphasized the importance of saving, investing, and creating secondary sources of income for fighters.
“I gave myself a three to five year window, a runway where I could grow my businesses and everything else to where I could live very comfortably without tightening the belt,” Askren explained.
“Give yourself a runway and have other things that you’re doing,” Askren added. “That’s kind of how they have to think about it. Yeah, I made probably close to $1 million last year when you include everything. I’m not going to make that any time soon but I feel like I made the right investments and I saved enough of it to where I have a runway where I’m making a pretty good living and I’m going to continue developing my businesses and grow other things I’m doing as well.
“Not just investments but find other skills,” Askren continued. “Because even if you have enough money, you’ve got to do something or you’re going to be bored as sh*t. Literally find another job, find a skill, find a hobby, find something you’re passionate about and use your notoriety that you have while you’re fighting to develop that business or that hobby or whatever it is.”
Askren added that it’s important that fighters, who oftentimes find themselves in dire financial straights, work with people who have their best interest in mind.
“Jon Jones had a tax lien on him [Donald] Cerrone’s had a tax lien on him. James Toney had a tax lien on him. This is not totally new,” Askren said. “This is not a brand new thing whatsoever.
“I would say just hire people who actually have your best financial interest in mind. That’s kind of hard to find sometimes. Obviously, I think you have to have a basic amount of information yourself so you don’t get taken advantage of.”
What do you think of this advice from Ben Askren?