Former Bellator and ONE FC welterweight champion and UFC welterweight Ben Askren revealed one thing he wished he had done differently in his MMA career.
Askren after going 1-2 in his MMA career, announced his retirement from the sport in October 2019. Despite having no regrets for his tailored MMA career, he does believe there’s something he could have done better.
Many might feel it’s his striking, however, addressing the issue, ‘Funky’ issued a long response on his social media claiming he should have focused a bit more on his Jiu-Jitsu. (via BJPENN.com):
“The one thing I think I would have changed if I could go back, I didn’t ever think I was going to fight until 2019,” Askren said. “I never thought that would be the case. I thought I’d be retired way before. I never really had a great jiu-jitsu coach until really the end of my career when I found Marc Laimon. I really enjoyed him.
“But before that, there was really a mix of different jiu-jitsu coaches at [Roufusport] and I think that my potential to choke people out was untapped,” Askren continued. “I was the best pinner in the modern era of college wrestling and I think if I would have went to work with say the [John] Danaher Death Squad or Marcelo Garcia, I could have really tapped into that at a much higher level,” he said.
“If I would have put some more time into jiu-jitsu, I think I could have gotten better choking people,” Askren concluded.
The curious case of Ben Askren!
Askren was in the history books even before he started fighting under the UFC. He was a part of the historic deal between UFC and ONE FC where he was traded for former UFC flyweight champ and then pound-for-pound #1 Demetrious Johnson.
He came with an unblemished record of 19-0 and was known for his dominant wrestling based style. However, was reduced to 1-2 in his three fights which ultimately lead to his retirement. One of his losses including being on the wrong side of Jorge Masvidal’s brutal flying knee resulting in the fastest knockout in the history of the UFC.
Many believe him getting signed at the age of 34 after already being retired from the sport really affected his physical attributes and that the results could have been different had the UFC signed him in the earlier stage of his career back in 2013. Sadly, Askren’s career will always be an ambiguous chapter in the history of the UFC.