Ben Askren
Askren following his first-round win over Aoki ONE Championship


  • Askren defeated Shinya Aoki via TKO in the first round.
  • The All-American retires with a perfect 18-0-1 record in MMA.

Ben Askren successfully defended his welterweight title against Shinya Aoki at ONE: Immortal Pursuit to retire undefeated.

"Funky" took on Aoki in the main event on Friday (24 November) in front of a packed Singapore Indoor Stadium and needed just 57 seconds in the first round to finish his Japanese teammate via ground-and-pound strikes to win by TKO.

The victory means that Askren will retire from MMA with a perfect record of 18-0-1, having taken minimal damage for the majority of his professional career.

"That was satisfying," Askren told reporters backstage. "You can't write the script better than that."

The question on everyone's minds however, was whether this was really the All-American's last-ever fight.

Many in the combat world have been itching to see Askren fight the UFC's welterweight champion or even just face an MMA legend like Georges St-Pierre.

Askren though, stated that he was getting old and cannot grind as much in training as he did in the past, but reiterated that there was only one way this would not be his last fight.

"I'm done. I told you guys I'm done. Leave me alone, stop harassing me," Askren jokingly replied.

"I said there's one. One. Not two, not three, not four, one possibility for a reason I would come back. [To prove that] I'm number one."

When asked what the best thing about his ONE Championship journey was, the 33-year-old spoke about how he got to watch the Singapore-based promotion grow in matter of years.

"I've got to watch this company grow up," Askren explained. "I think my first fight was 13 or 14. Now we're in the middle sixties or seventies and it's growing exponentially. This year's been huge for them, obviously I'm going to stay on in some kind of an executive role."

"One of the things Chatri [first] told me was 'There are no homegrown stars on this side of the world.' Myanmar didn't have a star, now, you see Aung La N Sang's effing Facebook page? It blows my mind how big it got because Myanmar has a star now and Eduard Folayang in the Philippines."

"He's building these homegrown stars and it's really cool because I know when I was growing up, I was impacted in my life when I could see someone like me, watching the high school wrestling tournament, someone like me wins the state title and I'm like 'Wow I want to do that.' That's a powerful thing.

"Kids from all these different countries are getting that experience that they didn't have before. They're watching the English Premier League or NBA and they don't see people that look or are like them or come from the same place as them so it's a really powerful thing."

Askren also had a message for his fans and haters: "I appreciate everything. I love the haters too. Except [UFC president] Dana White, he's a dirty scumbag."