Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Chael Sonnen Says He Was Caught Off Guard By Ben Askren’s Retirement

Ben Askren recently announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, and Chael Sonnen was quite surprised by that.

Sonnen says he had no idea Askren’s hip was bothering him and was surprised that was part of the reason why he is hanging up the gloves.

“Ben Askren’s retirement caught me off guard,” Sonnen said on his YouTube channel (via BJPENN.com). “I mean I guess my first reaction is Ben, congratulations. Thank you for the great memories. It did surprise me though.

“It surprised me that he retired for that reason only because he had been talking recently, even after the Maia fight, about, ‘look I’m gonna have to take some time to see if I even wanna do this anymore,’” Sonnen continued when speaking on Ben Askren’s MMA exit. “So I had no idea he had this hip bothering him. And when he announced his retirement, Ben is such a competitor and he wanted to be the world champion.

“And he did it over at [Bellator] and he did it at ONE FC. Then he wants the big unification match. Just grab all the belts. But a selfish guy will. This champ-champ thing is a very real phenomenon going around. I have nothing against it, grab as much hardware as you possibly can. So I thought if Ben was going to retire and when I read the headline that he had retired on Ariel’s show, I assumed it was just from a competitive standpoint of, ‘the road to the championship is not as clear and laid out for me.’”

Askren ended his time in the UFC with a record of 1-2 as he won his debut over Robbie Lawler then lost back-to-back fights to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia.