Former Bellator FC and One Championship Welterweight Champion Ben Askren has announced his retirement from the mixed martial arts.
After two consecutive losses in the UFC, the former NCAA Division I amateur wrestler revealed that his hip needs replacement which forced him to hang up his gloves.
"I'm retired from the sport of mixed martial arts. Frankly, I'm retired from everything. I've been having hip problems, and I finally had a discussion with my doctor. I actually got the MRI before my last fight. I need a hip replacement, so that's it for me. I've been thinking about this for a week and what I was going to say. Really, I'm just filled with gratitude for how great of a career I've been able to have, even though, obviously in the end, it did not go my way."
Askren said Monday on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show.
Funky had hinted his desire to retire right after his submission loss to Demian Maia in their main event clash in Singapore. This was the second loss of his career having faced the first loss against Jorge Masvidal with a flying knee in July. This was the fastest knockout in the UFC history having ended the fight in just 5 seconds.
However, Askren confirmed that the action inside the cage was not the reason for his retirement instead it was the medical diagnosis.
“When I came back, I’ve been having hip issues for three to five years somewhere in there. When I came back and started training in December it got really bad. I visited my doctors in Columbia, who I kept in touch with, that’s where I went to college, and I went down there and I got an x-ray and I got a PRP (platelet rich plasma) shot. The PRP shot helped significantly with the pain but not with the mobility at all.
“They saw the x-ray and said you’re all jacked up but you can just keep going and whenever you’re done we’ll fix it. In August, it had gotten pretty bad again and I went down there and got another PRP shot and that didn’t really help all that much. I consulted with that doctor and he said why don’t you get the MRI before your fight, I’ll look at it and when you’re done with your fight, we’ll scope your hip and that will give you a couple years worth of relief. You’ll probably need to get the hip replacement at some point.”
Askren who retired in 2017 with an impressive undefeated record came back after a trade was organized by UFC to exchange Demetrious Johnson with the One Championship. He made his UFC debut with a submission win over former champion Robbie Lawler.