Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Ben Askren might be retired, but there is one fight that still interests him. 

The former ONE and Bellator welterweight champion would come out of retirement last April, when he cashed in on a big payday against Jake Paul. He would get finished in the first round. Askren would once again hang up the gloves, telling MMA Island he’d never fight again. 

Despite losing three times in a row across boxing and MMA, Askren still has the itch to continue. He’d scratch the thought of a potential return when he exchanged words with Stockton slugger Nate Diaz. 

Diaz would start it off by saying Askren couldn’t box or even fight, for that matter. ‘Funky’ well, he didn’t find that funky. Askren took a break from playing disc golf to defend himself on Twitter. He’d responded to the UFC superstar, offering to be the last fight on his contract. 

Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is

Months later, a fight with Diaz still sounds quite appealing for the 37 year-old Askren. He’d reflect on the exchange that took place over Twitter and touch up on the idea of fighting again.

“I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is and be the last fight in your contract,” Askren told MMA Island. “That’s it. At the end of day, I’m retired from fighting. I don’t ever want to train full time again, but man, I think every fighter, a little part of you loves fighting, like you love the battle.

“So hey, if [the UFC] were going to give me an easy one [Nate Diaz], I’ll take an easy one. I’ve taken three losses in a row. I’m due for one [easy fight].”

The search for Nate Diaz’s next opponent is still on. The UFC is looking to book him for the last fight of his current contract, but have not had any luck. He was reportedly in talks to fight Dustin Poirier in January and March, however it did not come into fruition.

Facing Reality

While the trashtalk in a fight between Askren and Diaz would be epic, ‘Funky’ is the definition of a wildcard when it comes to fighting Diaz. It doesn’t seem likely. 

“I think that’s probably very unlikely to happen,” Askren added. “I’d probably just stay retired.”

By Chris De Santiago

Chris De Santiago is a 20-year-old journalist out of Texas. He is the founder of MMA Island and also works for MiddleEasy.com.