Ben Askren cautions mixed martial artists: “Most athletes end up poor”

Former UFC welterweight Ben Askren talked about the hard truth behind professional athletes’ lives. He explained why most athletes end up being poor after retiring.

Being a combat sports athlete, especially in mixed martial arts, is definitely a tough path to choose. Most athletes ended up being financially unstable after retirement. Even athletes who compete in the UFC, the biggest MMA promotion, are having a hard time making ends meet.

During an interview with Dad Saves America, Ben Askren discussed it and said that an athlete’s purse is not enough to enjoy a simple retirement life.

“I realized most athletes end up poor. And this is the truth as a fighter and obviously we don’t make as much money as an NBA or an NFL player. But you realize, like in my last MMA fight I made $300,000. But, like for me to do that again. I don’t have an easy way to make that much money again. Whereas the fighting was like one fight, I show up, boom, check, there you go.” Askren said.

The multi-time wrestling champion also added that most athletes spent their lives training and fighting. So when it comes to retirement, they don’t know what to do. Not to mention most of them have bad money management.

“But for these fighters, you know, they get to this point where, okay, they say: “All right, I’m gonna retire. I’m done with training, my body’s beat up. So then they retire and then they realize like: Wow, making that much money in the real world’s like really hard and I didn’t save enough.”

Mixed martial arts are very hard on the body and most cannot support having a lengthy career.

One of the rare mixed martial artists that thought ahead was Georges St-Pierre who cautioned the up and comers to make their money and get out while the going is good.

“Oh yeah. 100%. My advice would be make your money, cash out, and get the hell out of here! Preserve your health! Especially in our sport, it’s not a game. It’s very serious business. “

“You can say you play basketball, you play hockey, but you don’t play fighting. I always wanted to retire on top. Maybe I feel that I left money on the table when I retired, because I think could have win a couple other fights against the best in the world, but I had a mental shift…”