“I Don’t Deserve It”- Ben Askren Feels He Doesn’t Deserve to Be on Joe Rogan’s G.O.A.T List

Published 11/24/2021, 1:19 PM EST
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 26: Ben Askren reacts to his submission loss to Demian Maia of Brazil in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


At the peak of his career, many considered Ben Askren to be the best fighter in the world outside of the UFC. The fact that Askren held a record of 18 wins and no losses before his UFC debut (19th win) only adds to the argument. The fighter was a Bellator Welterweight Championship as well as a ONE Welterweight Championship title-holder.

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Askren made his professional MMA debut all the way back in 2009 and got himself three wins in that year alone. His striking ability and wrestling skills, when combined with his insane fight IQ, were a recipe for championship victories. Askren annihilated every opponent he faced in the cage, and he always put on a show for the crowd. Many consider his wrestling abilities to be among the best in sport’s history.

Joe Rogan and Lex Fridman are among those who once saw Ben Askren as the greatest of all time. Recently, ‘Funky’ made an appearance on Lex Fridman’s podcast, where the two discussed a variety of topics.

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During the podcast, Fridman told Ben that once upon a time, Joe Rogan and himself considered Askren to be one of the greatest fighters in the world. He asked him how he feels about him not being on their greatest of all time list anymore.

Askren answered to him, saying, “I didn’t prove it. I don’t deserve it. So it’s like, had I somehow gotten to convince Dana White, say we go and convince him in 2013 to make me an offer. And I didn’t even need a good offer, I needed any offer. Had I gotten the offer then, maybe the outcome’s different, right?”

 “But given (everything), I would never expect anyone to think of me that way…” confessed Askren.

Ben Askren and his run at the UFC

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Although Askren was a force to be reckoned with outside of the UFC. It just wasn’t the same when he got the contract. ONE Championship and UFC struck a deal to trade with Demetrious Johnson and Ben Askren.

The fighter made his first-ever UFC octagon appearance at UFC 235. He faced off against Robbie Lawler, the former UFC welterweight champion. Askren won his debut bout by submission in the first round.

Ben Askren celebrates after beating Robbie Lawler in a welterweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 235, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Following his victory, he faced Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239, where he was knocked out in the first 5 seconds by a flying knee. Ben then faced Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 162 and lost again. He announced his retirement following his second consecutive loss in the UFC.

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Did you ever consider him the greatest?

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Pranit Punjabi

180 articles

Pranit Punjabi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. A third-year psychology major, this Khabib Nurmagomedov fan merged his interest in psychology with his deep passion for MMA and was intrigued by this new angle to help him get closer to the action. Pranit aims to look through the violence and chaos, into what makes MMA truly beautiful, the deep and rich psychological aspect of the game.

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