Ben Askren spent years pushing to compete against the best of the best in the welterweight division. Now, after doing just that, Askren has announced plans to retire from competing.
Askren, a former U.S. Olympic wrestler, would achieve championship status in both Bellator MMA and ONE Championship. After briefly leaving the sport, he was dealt to the UFC where he earned a win over Robbie Lawler.
Following back-to-back losses to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia, though, Askren confirmed with ESPN during an interview with Ariel Helwani that he will step away from not only MMA, but competing in anything due to upcoming hip replacement surgery.
"I'm retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts and frankly I'm retiring from everything," Askren said. "I've been having hip problems and I finally had the discussion with my doctor and I actually got the MRI before my last fight and I need a hip replacement.
"That's it for me. I've been thinking about this for a week and kind of what I was going to say. Really I've just been filled with gratitude for how great of a career I've been able to have, even though in the end it did not turn out to go my way."
The 35-year-old Askren went 19-2 with six wins by knockout and six more by submission during his career. He was a two-time NCAA Div. I national champion wrestler and competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics.