Ben Askren has conditions for a return to MMA.
Askren retired for a second time after a loss to Demian Maia in the main event of UFC Fight Night Singapore. While the former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder does not plan on making a full-time return to the sport, he has criteria for a potential return.
“So here’s the deal: I would never make like full-fledge, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go fight, I’m gonna chase the title,’” Askren said on his podcast (via Jed Meshew of MMA Fighting). “But I love combat. I enjoy wrestling. I enjoy fighting. So yeah, if someone said, ‘Here’s some money, go fight one time. Here’s the right opponent, let’s have some fun.’ I probably would, you know?”
Askren had a disappointing three-fight stint in the UFC but remains one of the most celebrated wrestlers to ever enter professional MMA. The retired fighter got hip surgery after leaving MMA behind, so a return to action could potentially happen next year.
“I feel like I’m gonna have to do something to make sure I don’t get too heavy,” Askren said. “So I’m gonna have to compete in some way, shape, or form, might as well get paid for it. So I don’t see why not. And obviously, I’ve told you the UFC has expressed interest in giving me another fight but dude, my hip is so bad. So yeah, in a year or so.”
If Askren does return to action next year, it would mark the longest gap in between fights during his time as a professional fighter.