Ben Askren Says He Doesn't Have the Same Desire to Fight Anymore
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 12.23.2013
But he's good at what he does...
Ben Askren recently spoke with MMAjunkie about the drama that let to him leaving Bellator and signing with ONE FC and more. Check out the highlights:
On his current career mindset: "To be perfectly honest, I just don't have the same desire to fight. Back in the day, I was just so passionate about competing and being the best. It's really been a few years since I've felt like that. But still, I'm really good at what I do, so it's hard to give it up."
On not being offered a deal by the UFC: "They essentially told my manager, ‘We're going to get something done,' and six hours later, when I'm not in the meeting and not in the UFC office, I get a call saying, ‘It's not going to happen.' It is their business, and they can run their business however they want to run their business. But it would have been nice to hear from their mouth what the real issue was. I have a pretty good idea of what it is, but they still didn't spit it out."
On Dana White: "In all honesty, I think if you put a 15-man tournament together, I think I could be the best fighter in the world right now. And now, I'm not going to get a chance to prove that because one bald-headed fat man chooses not to let me in."
On signing with ONE FC: "I'm going to make more than six figures in my next fight. Any way you cut it, that's a lot of damn money. And I like to train every day, so even if I retired, I would still train in some form."
On his decision to keep going and not retire: "I don't want to leave a stain on my legacy. I've always competed to the best of my abilities. At the end of the day, I don't want to leave fighting with a handful of subpar performances where I'm not giving my all."
On being called out by Phil Baroni: "It's gross how desperate he is to get a fight. He probably doesn't know what else he's going to do with his life, so he's trying to talk himself (into) a fight."
On if he'd sign with the UFC if they showed interest: "If in two years, I'm the ONE FC champ, and I come kick the UFC champ's ass, how does that look? So it's not as if I'm going to get an immediate title shot if and when I moved back to the UFC. So now it's three, four years down the road, and I'm past my athletic prime, because I'm not going to use the [testosterone-replacement therapy] and whatever people are using. It's a big question. I've got to wrestle with a lot of things in my own mind."