Ben Askren just made his boxing debut at 36 years old. He blew fans away by lasting a minute and a half longer than the world thought he would. Now before he becomes any less relevant, let’s take a look at why we love to hate Funky Ben Askren.
When the name Ben Askren is brought up amongst MMA fans it rarely ends well. It’s as though his career started and ended the day he decided to eat Jorge Masvidal’s knee for dinner. There is rarely any discussion about him going to the Olympics for wrestling. How he held welterweight belts in two different organizations, along with numerous title defenses. After all, his MMA record was flawless up to the loss against Masvidal, so why all the hate?
When we talk about the “hateability” of Ben Askren we really have to look at him as a whole. He really does have the whole infuriating package.
First and foremost, he has continued to rock the perm 40 years after it went out of style. This awful hairdo wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t paired with those beady little eyes. Even when stepping into the octagon for battle, the Napoleon Dynamite look is difficult to ignore.
He has continued to rock the “dad bod” physique, never achieving a shredded status. This is of little to no importance in combat sports. Although, for the casual fan to watch a squishy looking Askren wrestle his opponent for 15 minutes rarely incited a large amount of excitement toward him.
His wrestling is no doubt world-class, and there are few jokes to make in regards to it. But his striking is lackluster, to say the least, finishing only five of his 22 victories via TKO. He never had the power or skill to land a knock out victory. So, the next obvious step on his path to combat sport immortalization was clearly to try boxing. How about fighting a man who is 12 years his junior, who actually trained in the sport of boxing? What could go wrong?
With the worst nickname in UFC history, “Funky” Ben Askren has attempted to build his image around “clever” trash talking. This has managed to not only baffle his opponents (in a confused way) but also piss off UFC president Dana White on numerous occasions. There is no doubt that the quality of our lives would be improved if we never heard another “Boom. Roasted.” again.
Maybe it’s the fact that he has excelled in professional disc golf, or that he looks like the guy they send to clean your furnace, either way, I believe that Ben will continue to be the Ringo of the MMA community. After his retirement from MMA and his horrible debut in boxing, the MMA community has only one question for Ben Askren. That question is, what’s next? And the answer being, who cares?
If you are a fan of the Funky one and have taken offence to the truth that I have shared here today, be sure to come let me have it at @JHuberWrites. If you are looking to fulfil your sports fix, be sure to check out all the other great content at Belly Up Sports.