Just weeks after suffering the fastest knockout loss in UFC history, the Las Vegas-based promotion is already plotting the Octagon return of Ben Askren.
Askren suffered a five-second knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 earlier this month. “Funky” got caught with a flying knee coming in on an immediate takedown attempt. Askren has been handling the defeat with class, but the question remains – who will he fight upon his return?
According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC is looking to book Askren vs. jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia once Askren’s medical suspension is up in September:
“UFC is currently discussing booking Ben Askren vs. Demian Maia once Askren’s medical suspension is up in September, according to sources.”
Prior to being defeated by Masvidal, Askren was unbeaten in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career with a perfect record of 19-0. Askren brings a dominant wrestling ability to the table, that all but Masvidal struggled to overcome. As for Maia, he is on a two-fight win streak and is nearing the end of his MMA career.
In his last outing, Maia defeated Anthony Rocco Martin via majority decision. The Brazilian certainly brings an interesting stylistic matchup for Askren, whose primary weapon is his wrestling, against Maia, who is one of the greatest submission specialists the promotion has ever seen.
What do you think about a potential matchup between Askren and Maia?