Ben Askren Announces Upcoming Match-Up With Demian Maia

Ben Askren
Image Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ben Askren has a date for his UFC return. And he’s claiming it’s against grappling wiz Demian Maia.

That’s according to the onetime hyped star, who announced on Twitter today (Tues., August 20, 2019) that it was a “done deal” he will meet Maia. Askren announced the October 26 date this fall:

“Done deal! Oct 26 we will find out who the best MMA grappler on planet earth is.”

A Long Road To Walk

Askren was, of course, knocked out in record-breaking time in his last fight. Jorge Masvidal hit him with a vicious flying knee to open their main card bout at UFC 239. Prior to that fight, Askren controversially won his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler. ‘Funky’ was in early trouble when ‘Ruthless’ slammed him on his head. He was able to persevere and lock on a choke, which appeared to have Lawler out.

In the end, however, he was not. Controversy ensued, but Askren had his first UFC win. After he was ‘traded’ from ONE Championship to the UFC for Demetrious Johnson, he had begun a trash talk campaign against essentially every big name in the UFC. The Lawler fight propelled him to a huge bout with Masvidal, which he thought would earn him a title shot.

But when you get knocked out as he did, it’s tough to continue talking trash on social media. It’s even tougher to get people to believe you if you did. In any case, Askren’s rep has some serious work to do in order to get repaired. The UFC has not announced the fight for a specific event as of yet.

If it does become official, it would seem the UFC is protecting him from yet another dangerous striker. While it will no doubt be a great match-up of legendary grapplers with Maia, it’s tough to say how far even a great victory will boost Askren.

He can only start one fight at a time.

Will Askren vs. Maia truly decide the best MMA grappler on Earth?