Ben Askren


Bout set with Maia
August 20, 2019
Askren will take on Demian Maia in a welterweight matchup on October 26 at Singapore Indoor Stadium, Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie reports.
This will be a matchup between two of the top grapplers in the 170-pound division, with Askren coming from a wrestling background and Maia a heralded Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. Askren will look to bounce back from the first loss of his career in which he suffered a knockout in no less than five seconds at the hands of Jorge Masvidal. This will be his first-ever UFC main event. Neither combatant brings much of a striking arsenal to the table, so fantasy points generated here will depend exclusively on the ability to accrue takedowns and advance position. At the very least, this fight will be five rounds as a headliner, making it much more appealing from a fantasy scoring perspective than a regular three-round affair.
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Suffers first career loss
July 6, 2019
Askren lost to Jorge Masvidal via KO (flying knee) at 0:05 of Round 1 at UFC 239 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
That's one way to suffer your first career loss. Askren (correctly) tried to duck under and get Masvidal to the mat when he saw his opponent flying at him but he was unable to get his head off the center line and Masvidal finished him with a knee right to the temple. There isn't a heck of a lot to dissect in a fight that lasted five seconds. It took Askren quite a while to get his wits about him before finally walking out of the cage under his own power. It was a scary situation that leaves the next step in his fighting career up for debate.
Betting favorite at UFC 239
June 17, 2019
Askren was beaten handily in a charity wrestling match against former Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, but emerged from that match unscathed and is a (-225) betting favorite for his upcoming fight against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on July 6.
Askren finished his collegiate wrestling career with a record of 153-8, so a regular wrestling match in between fights was never expected to pose a major threat to his health. There's also no shame in losing a charity match to Burroughs, who is an Olympic gold medalist and four-time world freestyle champion. Askren will simply use that as another practice session for his upcoming MMA matchup against Masvidal -- a power puncher with a 77 percent takedown defense over his career. Askren showed an impressive chin in his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler in a bout many thought could have been stopped, but he was able to rebound and finish the fight via submission. Given that Askren did not land a single significant strike in his debut, it's difficult to gauge how ready his stand-up game is for UFC-caliber competition. Masvidal will look to test him as a striker by keeping upright as long as possible, but few have been able to do that against Askren during his 20-fight MMA career.
Potential wrestling match on tap
April 8, 2019
Askren has verbally agreed to take on Jordan Burroughs in a wrestling match on May 6 at Madison Square Garden, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Askren is currently under some type of UFC contract and is scheduled to face Jorge Masvidal in the cage at UFC 239 on July 6. It's unclear if his participation in this charity event comes with the blessing of the promotion, but it will be worth circling back to make sure Askren emerges unscathed. Burroughs is a five-time world freestyle wrestling champ and two-time NCAA Division 1 national champion, but a matchup of this caliber will give him arguably the largest stage he's seen in his career.
Next fight on tap
March 29, 2019
Askren will face Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Askren will seemingly be the favorite heading into July while still undefeated across 20 fights, although Masvidal will be coming into the octagon with some momentum after defeating Darren Till by TKO (strikes) just over a week ago at UFC Fight Night in London.
Survives early to submit Lawler in UFC debut
March 2, 2019
Making his long awaited UFC debut on Saturday, Askren defeated Robbie Lawler via submission (bulldog choke) at 3:20 of Round 1 at UFC 235 in Las Vegas.
It didn't come easy and it didn't come without controversy. Less than 30 seconds into his first fight with the company, Askren found himself in more trouble than at any point in his entire decade-long career. "Funky" was dropped on his head by Lawler following an immediate takedown attempt and it was a minor miracle that he survived the ensuing onslaught. He eventually recovered and the ensuing stoppage by referee Herb Dean appeared to be a poor one, but as Askren told Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview, "I'm not the referee. My job is to come here and fight." Indeed it is and he now finds himself a perfect 1-0 in the UFC. Askren is marketable and a big name. The UFC has no reason to take it slowly with him at age 34.