Ben Askren
Funky

USA

Announces retirement
WelterweightOther
November 18, 2019
Askren announced his retirement Monday, Aaron Bronsteter of TSN.ca reports.
ANALYSIS
Askren revealed Monday that he has had hip issues for the past three-to-five years which now require a hip replacement. Rather than working toward a return, the 35-year-old instead decided to retire. "Funky" had a 19-2 record as a professional fighter, but he was 1-2 in the UFC and had limited options following a loss to Demian Maia via submission (rear-naked choke) at UFC Singapore in late October.
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Falls victim to Demian Maia's submission game
WelterweightOther
October 27, 2019
Askren lost to Demian Maia via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:54 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Singapore.
ANALYSIS
After being stopped in only five seconds against Jorge Masvidal, Askren needed a win to get his career back on track. Unfortunately for him, Maia had other plans. Askren landed a few hard uppercuts on the feet, but it was clear from the outset that the former wrestler was not going to get it done with his striking. He was able to score takedowns against Maia, as he landed four of his seven attempts. However, he could not get anything going on the floor and was swept twice. In the third round, Askren scored a takedown. However, Maia almost immediately swept him, moved to mount, took the back and finished via rear-naked choke. Askren is still only 1-2 in the UFC, but this defeat really made his options look limited at the moment. It's little consolation, but the due will at least each leave $50,000 richer after being awarded Fight of the Night honors.
Bout set with Maia
WelterweightOther
August 20, 2019
Askren will take on Demian Maia in a welterweight matchup on October 26 at Singapore Indoor Stadium, Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie reports.
ANALYSIS
This will be a matchup between two of the top grapplers in the 170-pound division, with Askren coming from a wrestling background and Maia a heralded Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. Askren will look to bounce back from the first loss of his career in which he suffered a knockout in no less than five seconds at the hands of Jorge Masvidal. This will be his first-ever UFC main event. Neither combatant brings much of a striking arsenal to the table, so fantasy points generated here will depend exclusively on the ability to accrue takedowns and advance position. At the very least, this fight will be five rounds as a headliner, making it much more appealing from a fantasy scoring perspective than a regular three-round affair.
Suffers first career loss
WelterweightOther
July 6, 2019
Askren lost to Jorge Masvidal via KO (flying knee) at 0:05 of Round 1 at UFC 239 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
That's one way to suffer your first career loss. Askren (correctly) tried to duck under and get Masvidal to the mat when he saw his opponent flying at him but he was unable to get his head off the center line and Masvidal finished him with a knee right to the temple. There isn't a heck of a lot to dissect in a fight that lasted five seconds. It took Askren quite a while to get his wits about him before finally walking out of the cage under his own power. It was a scary situation that leaves the next step in his fighting career up for debate.
Betting favorite at UFC 239
WelterweightOther
June 17, 2019
Askren was beaten handily in a charity wrestling match against former Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, but emerged from that match unscathed and is a (-225) betting favorite for his upcoming fight against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on July 6.
ANALYSIS
Askren finished his collegiate wrestling career with a record of 153-8, so a regular wrestling match in between fights was never expected to pose a major threat to his health. There's also no shame in losing a charity match to Burroughs, who is an Olympic gold medalist and four-time world freestyle champion. Askren will simply use that as another practice session for his upcoming MMA matchup against Masvidal -- a power puncher with a 77 percent takedown defense over his career. Askren showed an impressive chin in his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler in a bout many thought could have been stopped, but he was able to rebound and finish the fight via submission. Given that Askren did not land a single significant strike in his debut, it's difficult to gauge how ready his stand-up game is for UFC-caliber competition. Masvidal will look to test him as a striker by keeping upright as long as possible, but few have been able to do that against Askren during his 20-fight MMA career.
Potential wrestling match on tap
WelterweightOther
April 8, 2019
Askren has verbally agreed to take on Jordan Burroughs in a wrestling match on May 6 at Madison Square Garden, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Askren is currently under some type of UFC contract and is scheduled to face Jorge Masvidal in the cage at UFC 239 on July 6. It's unclear if his participation in this charity event comes with the blessing of the promotion, but it will be worth circling back to make sure Askren emerges unscathed. Burroughs is a five-time world freestyle wrestling champ and two-time NCAA Division 1 national champion, but a matchup of this caliber will give him arguably the largest stage he's seen in his career.