Chris Weidman praises Ben Askren, calls him ‘huge inspiration’ for MMA career

Chris Weidman
Image via @ufc on Instagram

Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman had high praise for Ben Askren, calling him a “huge inspiration” For his MMA career.

Askren announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Monday following back-to-back stoppage losses to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia. Askren said that the losses played a factor in his decision to retire, but ultimately it was injuries that caught up to him and he needs to have hip replacement surgery, which led to him hanging up his gloves.

Many in the MMA community reacted to Askren’s retirement yesterday, and support for “Funky” continued to pour in on Tuesday, including a comment from Weidman, the former UFC middleweight champ. He took to his social media to praise Askren for his excellent career, one that influenced him along with many others.

Check out what Weidman wrote on his Twitter below.

“Congrats @Benaskren on an amazing career!You were a huge inspiration to me and many more. From wrestling you in high school when I was very young to watching you throughout your wrestling and Mma careers.I learned a lot from your unique techniques as well as your mindset #funky”

It’s nice to see Askren get some love from fellow fighters such as Weidman, who is one of the most highly-respected fighters in the game. Though Askren’s UFC career did not go as planned with just a 1-2 mark inside the Octagon, he left an undeniable impact on the UFC in his short period of time there. Askren was one half of MMA’s first-ever trade in exchange for Demetrious Johnson and even though he only won one fight, all three were memorable.

Though Askren is no longer an active fighter on the UFC roster, he is expected to stay in the game in coaching. He is currently teaching wrestling to up-and-coming women’s flyweight prospect Maycee Barber, so we can expect to see Askren back in the Octagon sometime soon, just not with the four-ounce gloves on his hands. In the meantime it’s cool to see fighters like Chris Weidman send some love to Askren.

How do you rate Ben Askren’s MMA career as a whole?