Ben Askren will be back into the octagon for the first time after the devastating knock out loss to Jorge Masvidal back in UFC 239. Well, the road to the title doesn’t get easier from here for the Funky One. He will be facing one of the toughest challenges of his life in the main event of UFC Singapore and that is Damian Maia.
Damian Maia is considered the best grappler in UFC at the moment in the welterweight division. He is a submission artist. Although he had losses from Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, he bounced back from the losses to get back to a winning streak. Both Maia and Askren love to take the fight to the ground. While Damian Maia is on the top of the food chain when grappling is considered, Askren is a formidable force on the ground because of his decorated wrestling background.
Hence this fight will be a unique challenge for both the fighters involved. With other opponents, Askren will take the fight to the ground without any hesitation, but with a seasoned grappler such as Maia, things will be a bit different. Recognizing that Askren said:
“This is really the first time in my competetive career where I actually have to worry about grappling. Before this fight ” At no point in my career I really though that this guy is really good at Jiu Jitsu. I need to worry about this I haven’t had that feelings.”
Ben Askren trained with Tyron Woodley before Woodley’s title defense against Damian Maia. So it’s safe to assume that Askren has done his study on Maia. However, the margin of error on the ground will be very small fro Askren in this fight unlike any other fights Askren has had upto this point in his MMA career. Askren said:
“Before I could recklessly go for the takedowns because well i am not really worried about the submission holes. But now it’s a lot of fun trying to figure out this new puzzle.”
Leading to the fight both Askren and Maia has mutual respect unline the build up to Askren vs Masvidal, which generated a bad blood during the fight promotion. Askren claimed:
“I have respect for Damian. I just have to go out and compete. With someone you don’t like as my last opponent, or someody you think is stupid, I don’t want to let those feelings of anger overwhelm me. I just need to go and executelike I always have.”
Ben Askren is going fight Damian Maia in the main event of UFC Singapore on October 26th this year. So far Askren had one win and one loss is UFC. After the loss against Masvidal, Ben Askren needs to get the win against Maia to get back to the top again.