Saturday, August 20, 2022

Michael Bisping Believes Demian Maia Was The Worst Matchup For Ben Askren

Michael Bisping was not a fan of the Demian Maia fight for Ben Askren. He thought it was a terrible matchup for ‘Funky’ and proved to be right.

Of course, in the main event of UFC Singapore, Maia submitted Askren in the third round.

“When I immediately saw the news that he was fighting Demian Maia, I thought, ‘man that’s not a good matchup for him,’” Michael Bisping said on his Believe You Me podcast (via BJPENN.com). “To come off getting knocked out so viciously, so you’re gonna have some psychological demons there. And then to go against a guy, Ben Askren everybody knows his game plan is to take you down, and Demian Maia wants to be on the ground. I’m like, ‘Woah that is a tough matchup.’ I respect his balls for taking that fight.”

Although Ben Askren is on a two-fight losing streak, Bisping believes Askren can still rebound and get some wins under his belt.

“There’s a lot of the roster he could beat,” Michael Bisping continued. “A lot of the roster that don’t have the takedown defense and certainly don’t have the jiu-jitsu of Demian Maia. So a lot of the mid-tier guys I think Askren could still beat. But then Demian Maia was always potentially the worst possible matchup in the UFC for him. Any high-level jiu-jitsu guy is a bad matchup for Askren. If you put him up against a striker that can’t wrestle too well, he’ll probably win that match all day long.

“Of course Masvidal proved that wrong, but still that was kind of a fluke occurrence. And I don’t mean fluke, I’m not discrediting the win. I’m saying I don’t think Masvidal would be able to pull that off [again]. I don’t think any striker that Askren wants to fight next would be able to pull that off so quickly and viciously. But I do feel there’s a lot of fights that he can win. But, he just needs to step down a little bit. He needs to go to mid-card level against mid-tier competition and I think he’ll do just fine.”

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