Former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren says he “probably would” fight again, but the circumstances would have to be right.
Askren retired in 2019, after sustaining back-to-back losses to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia—a knockout and a submission respectively. In his retirement announcement, he cited a need for a hip replacement.
Despite his hip troubles, Askren says he would consider fighting again if the money and the opponent both lived up to his standards.
“So here’s the deal: I would never make like full-fledge, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go fight, I’m gonna chase the title,’ [comments]” Askren said on his podcast (transcript via MMA Fighting). “But I love combat. I enjoy wrestling. I enjoy fighting. So yeah, if someone said, ‘Here’s some money, go fight one time. Here’s the right opponent, let’s have some fun.’ I probably would, you know?”
Askren continued, explaining that he believes he’ll have to compete on some level in order to keep his weight and healthy in check.
That being said, he conceded that he will need a year or so for his hip to heal.
“I feel like I’m gonna have to do something to make sure I don’t get too heavy,” Askren said. “So I’m gonna have to compete in some way, shape, or form, might as well get paid for it. So I don’t see why not. And obviously, I’ve told you the UFC has expressed interest in giving me another fight but dude, my hip is so bad. So yeah, in a year or so.”
Askren originally retired in 2017, after a win over Shinya Aoki in the ONE Championship cage. He then ended his retirement in 2018, when he was traded to the UFC in exchange for long-time flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
He debuted in the UFC with a win over the former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, but then came up short against Askren and Maia.
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