Saturday, December 3, 2022

Ben Askren Describes ‘Missing Out’ On His Prime Years

Ben Askren has spoken of the frustration at never getting to test himself against the UFC‘s best while in his prime.

The former Olympian and multiple promotion world champion had planned to sign with the UFC in 2013. He went through a long and confusing process of negotiation before ultimately being given the cold shoulder by Dana White and the gang.

Joe Rogan, the long-time UFC commentator, and MMA guru was one of his strongest advocates. Following a trade deal with ONE FC, Ben Askren finally got his wish. The problem was that Askren was long since retired and was physically in a state of deterioration.

Talking to The Schmo, Ben Askren spoke on his state of mind in that timeframe.

Ben Askren Feels He Deserved UFC Shot Earlier

ben askren
Ben Askren (Photo credit: ABS-CBN News)

“How did I not get signed (by the UFC) in 2013? It’s preposterous. I mean, I was 12-0. I had retained the Bellator title for, I think, three to three-and-a-half years, I was ranked sixth through eight in the world, depending on the publication; I didn’t even get an offer… There was literally no offer.”

Askren was then left with little option but to sign elsewhere. That’s when he moved into the Asian MMA sphere. While successful, he cannot help but wonder, what if?

“I can’t say I had a bad experience in ONE Championship, but when I think back about it — the only thing I wanted to do was prove I was the best, you know? So I kind of missed out on my prime years. 2013, when I left Bellator, I’d been on a really hot streak, had beat up Douglas Lima and my last fight was (against) Andrey Koreshkov, who was a really tough opponent and I kinda killed him. I was ready to rumble then. Yeah, to not get any offer, thinking back it was like, how did that happen?”

Now firmly retired following a knockout loss to Jake Paul, barring one thing, it will forever be a mystery as to how prime Ben Askren would have held up in the UFC.

How do you think Ben Askren would rank in the 2013 UFC rankings?