Ben Askren is returning to the Octagon in the main event of UFC Singapore when he takes on Demian Maia on Oct. 26.
It will be his first fight since his five-second knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239. The loss made him 1-1 in the UFC and sent him down the welterweight rankings. Now, “Funky” knows this fight is crucial to win.
If he loses this fight, he could very well be fighting unranked opponents next and his spot in the rankings would be in jeopardy. So, he says if he loses, retirement may be something he thinks about.
“I’d have to think about it,” Askren said. “But man, if I don’t win this fight, I’m knocked way, way, way down the rung. So, I don’t think that’s going to happen, but I’m gonna go in there and mix it up, and then after that we’ll have to see where it goes.”
For Ben Askren to win this fight he needs to fight smart. Which he has a game plan to do that.
“I’m not gonna go out there and do dumb stuff to take Demian down, like, real risky stuff. I’m not gonna do that,” Askren said. “But I will go for the takedowns, and I am very comfortable on the ground. I actually brought in a really high-level grappler for my training camp. And I have a high-level coach in Mark Layman, and just, everything was feeling really good.
“I’m preparing for a lot of positions that I think we’ll see in the fight. So, I’m not gonna just dive in for takedowns. But I probably will get my takedowns. I will secure top position. I think I’m a very dominant top position and I’ll be able to stuff all of his sweeps and land a lot of damage from top.”