Ben Askren Open to Fighting ‘Easy’ UFC Pay-Per-View Star

Ben Askren

Getty Ben Askren poses during weigh ins for Triller Fight Club at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on April 16, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren is willing to have one more fight, and he’s eyeing a UFC superstar.

Askren announced his retirement from mixed martial arts in November 2019 after suffering back-to-back losses inside the Octagon, which included Askren being on the wrong end of the UFC’s fastest KO ever courtesy of Jorge Masvidal. “Funky” also lost to Demian Maia via rear-naked choke.

Askren walked away from the sport with a professional record of 19-2 and one no-contest, however he returned to action as a boxer when he took on YouTuber Jake Paul in April 2021. Askren and “The Problem Child” boxed under the Triller Fight Club banner and Funky was taken out in the first round via TKO.

At 37 years old, Askren is happily retired from fighting. However, he told MMA Island’s Maddie Levine in a recent interview that he’d consider stepping inside the cage as a mixed martial artist to fight Nate Diaz. Askren and Diaz took a shot at each other on social media in November 2021, with Diaz tweeting that Askren “can’t fight or box” and Funky hitting back with: “Nate is right, I suck at boxing. 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.”


Askren Said He Is ‘Due’ for a Win After Suffering 3 Losses in a Row, Views Diaz as an ‘Easy’ Fight

Jake Paul & Ben Askren

GettyJake Paul boxes Ben Askren in their cruiserweight bout during Triller Fight Club at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Askren reaffirmed to Levine that he is open to the possibility of settling the score with Diaz inside the Octagon. And to Askren, fighting and beating Diaz would be an “easy” task.

“At the end of the day, I’m retired from fighting and I don’t ever want to train full time again, but man, I think every fighter, a little part of you loves fighting,” Askren said. “You love to battle. So, hey, if they’re (the UFC) going to give me an easy one, I’ll take an easy one.

“I’ve taken three losses in a row. I’m due for one.”

Then, Funky said that the chances of the fight happening are slim. “I’ll probably just stay retired,” Askren said.

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Diaz Last Fought in June 2021, Wants to Fight ASAP

Nate Diaz

GettyNate Diaz poses on the scale during the UFC 202 weigh-in in August 2016.

The last time Diaz fought was in June 2021 when he took on top-ranked welterweight Leon Edwards during a five-round featured bout at UFC 263. Diaz had late success in the fight, nearly finishing the Englishman in the closing moments of the fight. It wasn’t enough, however, and he lost via unanimous decision.

Diaz has been campaigning to get back inside the Octagon, and he’s been eyeballing Dustin Poirier as a potential opponent. It’s become public knowledge that Diaz only has one fight left on his UFC contract, and it appears Diaz wants to fight his way into free agency.

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