Earlier this year, Ben Askren stepped into the UFC’s Octagon for the first time, with mountains of hype associated with his name. After an impressive win over Robbie Lawler in his UFC debut, however, he’s experienced back-to-back losses to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia respectively — a five-second knockout and a submission.
After these stoppage losses, some members of the MMA community believe Askren should retire. Askren himself seems to be thinking about it.
“I mean retirement is definitely something I’m considering. I’d be lying to you if I said I was not,” Ben Askren said on a recent episode of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “It is a time-cost analysis. I have a lot of things I want to do in my life. I’m a really busy guy. I have a lot of things I am passionate about and love. Not training specifically, but to and from setting stuff up, I spend 30 hours a week on MMA related stuff. Can I place my time better somewhere else is definitely a thought process that crosses my mind.”
In the eyes of Demian Maia, however, Askren should probably continue fighting.
“I think he’s still pretty tough,” Maia said of Askren on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via MMA News). “The problem is when he lost to Masvidal a lot of people think, ‘ah he lost in five seconds,’ this kind of thing. But that happens. Everybody knows everybody that fights, a knockout can happen. It doesn’t mean that you’re not good and I think he’s one of the toughest guys in the division, and I think he should keep fighting.”
“His game is very hard for everyone in the division. Especially to the guys who [don’t] know really well grappling because he’s gonna take you down for sure, and the way he strikes people don’t understand well. But how he hides his head and how he closes the distance. It’s something that is awkward to figure out. It’s not easy. People just think, ‘oh this guy strikes. He has a beautiful style,’ and people say they think they’re a good striker, but he uses his striking efficiently to do what he wants which is get in the clinch.”
Would you like Ben Askren to keep fighting?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/14/2019.