Former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren is prepared to come out of retirement for one more UFC match against a superstar, “Funky” tweeted on Tuesday.
Askren has a professional MMA record of 19-2 with one no contest, which includes wins over the likes of former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, former ONE and DREAM lightweight champion Shinya Aoki and ex-Bellator 170-pound champion Douglas Lima.
Funky fought his last three MMA fights in the UFC, defeating Lawler and then dropping two consecutive bouts to Jorge Masvidal and Demian Maia before hanging up his gloves in November 2019. He then returned to combat sports in April 2021 to box social media sensation Jake Paul and lost by first-round TKO.
But according to Askren, he hasn’t completely written off the idea of one more UFC scrap.
He took to Twitter on November 23, 2021, to challenge Nate Diaz to a fight. The callout came about after Diaz ripped Askren’s fight abilities a day earlier. Reacting to a BJPenn.com article about Askren saying Paul is “kind of good” at boxing, Diaz tweeted: “Coming from a retired wrestler who can’t fight or box.”
“Nate is right, I suck at boxing,” Askren replied on the social media platform. “He sucks at MMA. If he wants me to prove it I can be in the USADA pool tomorrow. Would be happy to be the last fight on his contract.”
One fan then tweeted to Askren: “Honestly I think Ben wins.”
“You would have to be an idiot to think Nate beats me in an MMA fight,” Askren responded.
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Diaz Has 1 Fight Left With UFC, Askren Would Have to Be in Testing Pool for 6 Months Before Bout
It’s become public knowledge that Diaz only has one more fight left on his UFC contract, and a lot has been made about Diaz leaving the promotion after his next contest to box Paul.
Should Askren actually want to go through with fighting Diaz, and Diaz accepts, Funky will have to re-enter the United States Anti-Doping Agency testing pool and remain in it for six months before he’s allowed to compete in the promotion.
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Paul Proved He’s ‘Not Bad’ at Boxing After Beating Tyron Woodley
While recently speaking with Lex Fridman on the latter’s podcast, Askren complimented Paul’s ability inside the ring, specifically after beating former UFC welterweight champion and Askren’s good friend, Tyron Woodley, in August 2021.
Paul defeated Woodley by split decision.
“So the thing I said when I went in to fight him [Jake Paul] is maybe he’s good or maybe he’s not. We really have no idea to this point, you know,” Askren said via BJPenn.com. “I knew that Tyron was a lot better in boxing than I was. And so I thought that there is a good likelihood that Tyron beats him up but there is a chance that Jake is kind of good at this. I think what played out is he’s kind of good at it. And if you saw the way I saw it, he was still impressive in his showing and he has obviously put a lot of time into it. So, he’s not bad, I’ll say that much.”
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