Ben Askren may be “retired” from MMA and combat sports in general, but we all know how retirements go in this sport.
Maybe that’s why the former Bellator and ONE welterweight champ is ready to jump back into the USADA pool— if he can fight Nate Diaz.
Askren (19-2, 1NC) retired from mixed martial arts after going 1-2 in the UFC, and then was flatlined by Jake Paul in a boxing match earlier this year. That didn’t stop him from making the offer to fight Diaz, after the Stockton native told Paul on Twitter that the wrestler “sucks.”
“He sucks Jake. You’d get smoked n a real fight tho (sic). You can’t really fight. Boxing matches with wrestlers only. Let that sink in,” Diaz tweeted at Paul on Tuesday. That brought Askren into the mix.
“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 responded, pointing out that Diaz currently has just one fight remaining on his UFC deal.
You would have to be an idiot to think Nate beats me in an MMA fight https://t.co/wvabVBoNO1
— Funky (@Benaskren) November 23, 2021
Promotion President Dana White has publicly mused about matching up Diaz and current wrecking machine Khamzat Chimaev, a pairing many decried as doing Diaz dirty. Of course, feeding stars to young up-and-comers is a tried-and-true matchmaking technique in MMA, so there would be nothing new there. It still sounds less than competitive, however — with Diaz vs. Askren being a much closer fight in reality.
Askren (19-2, 1NC) last fought against Demian Maia, and wound up submitted in a Fight of the Night effort in Singapore back in 2019. It was his first fight back from the flying knee knockout he suffered in a record five seconds against Jorge Masvidal earlier that year.
Diaz (20-13) has lost back-to-back fights as well, against Masvidal and Leon Edwards.