This was not the way Ben Askren envisioned going out.
Askren retired from mixed martial arts on Monday, and did so with a professional record of 19-2 and one no-contest. Yet, he ended his career on a two-fight losing streak and was just 1-2 inside the Octagon. He had said he was the best fighter in the world after he was the Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champion.
But, after the two losses in a row, he knows he won’t go down as the best fighter ever. And, reflecting back, he had hoped his time in the UFC would have gone much differently.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani‘s MMA Show, he envisioned beating Lawler, then beating Jorge Masvidal and ending his career by beating Kamaru Usman at UFC 244 and retiring as a champion. Unfortunately, his losses to Masvidal and Demian Maia ended those hopes and along with hip surgery is the reason why he is retiring as he never wanted to compete for years in the UFC.
Unfortunately, for Ben Askren, he does not get the storybook ending he wanted. But, he will be remembered as a Bellator and ONE champion.