Triple Take: Was Ben Askren’s UFC tenure a success or failure?

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Ben Askren surprised the MMA World Monday by announcing his retirement, just over a year after making a much-hyped entrance to the UFC. The former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion went 1-2 in the company, with a high-profile win over Robbie Lawler, a legendary knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal, and a submission loss to Demian Maia. So what is Askren’s UFC legacy? MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn, Nolan King, and Dave Doyle hash it out in Triple Take.

Mike Bohn: Ben Askren UFC run was successful for selfish reasons

It doesn’t feel very successful at the moment, but after some time elapses, Askren will look back fondly on his UFC tenure. The results weren’t what he wanted, but it will still go down as the most important and telling chapter of his career.

Yeah, Askren did some good things in Bellator and ONE Championship. Better than that, actually. He won the welterweight title in both promotions. The competition always left something to be desired, though, and as Askren racked up a 18-0 record outside the UFC, both fans and the man himself were left asking the same question: How good is Ben Askren?

The opportunity to find out didn’t come until the unprecedented “trade” for Demetrious Johnson, which went down when Askren was in his mid-30s and already retired, but “Funky” still ultimately discovered where he stands in the sport. And despite his strongest beliefs and efforts, it wasn’t at the top.

No doubt that’s a disappointing reality for him, but now Askren can walk away with peace of mind. He will not grow old agonizing about never getting his UFC shot or being able to share the octagon with some of the absolute best 170-pound fighters out there. Those experiences should serve as comfort as Askren transitions into the next chapter of life, and that’s invaluable.

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Askren got his answers about his ceiling as an MMA fighter, and despite a hip replacement surgery being on the horizon, he did so with his health largely in check. He also made quality money for three UFC fights he never expected to happen in the first place.

Is all that worth trading the past year of his life and an undefeated record for? Askren would almost certainly say so.

Next page — Nolan King: Askren proved he was a star 

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