Former Bellator and ONE lightweight champion Ben Askren failed to taste the disappointment of defeat through 20 pro MMA bouts. That all changed at UFC 239 this past July when he was caught with a flying knee in just five seconds vs. Jorge Masvidal.
But Askren, a former U.S. Olympic wrestler, was quick to let his fans know that he was physically fine from the knockout. He just had to figure out how to pick up the pieces from the emotional-side of the loss.
"I think that's the worst thing you can do. I mean obviously if you want to point to who did it the worst was Ronda (Rousey)," Askren said (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). "I always feel like I want to tell my story the way I want to tell it, and if you hide in the corner, everyone else is going to talk about what you're going to do. It happens. It's part of the sport or even life for that matter. Losses happen. I think the best thing you can do is say, 'That happened. What am I going to do now?'"
Askren was referencing Rousey's decision to step away from the spotlight after a 2015 loss to Holly Holm for the UFC championship. Rousey was able to avoid any media obligations until a year later when she returned to face Amanda Nunes, suffering a second loss.
"I think that lack of candor on her part leads to a lot of speculation from everybody else," Askren said. "If she sets the record straight, it sor of shuts all that down."
Askren will return to action in October when he takes on Demian Maia in the main event at UFC Fight Night 162 from Singapore.