Ben Askren takes on Demian Maia in the main event of UFC Singapore. This will mark the return of Askren to UFC octagon since his devastating loss to Jorge Masvidal in UFC 239.
The fight between Ben Askren and Demian Maia will be a delight for the grappling fans for sure. While Ben Askren is a decorated wrestler and grappler, Demian Maia is arguably the best submission artist in UFC with the highest number of submission victories. Although it’s safe to assume that this fight is going to be competitive on the ground, we still do not know whether Ben Askren is good enough to compete at the highest level such as UFC at this stage of his career.
With one controversial win and one loss, Askren finds himself in a peculiar situation where one more loss might kill all the hype he had while coming into UFC. However, former UFC champion, Tyron Woodley believes Askren is going to dominate Maia in the main event.
“Ben Askren is gonna school Demian Maia,” said Tyron Woodley in a recent interview. Tyron Woodley has been training with Ben Askren for years now. Askren even helped Woodley in his training in his fight camp before Woodley defended his title against Demian Maia.
Breaking down Askren vs Maia, Woodley added:
“Jake Shields kind of wrote the book on how to …You get to get Damian Maia to the mat, you can not be in his half guard but you get to get him to the ground. You got to pressure him because if you allow him to do it to you, he is long, he is static he can hang there, and Ben did extremely well against Jake Shields.”
Former title contender, Jake Shields fought Demian Maia in 2013 and beat Maia via split decision. Shields has also sparred with Askren and Woodley has claimed in the past that Ben Askren was winning the most of the sparring. Hence considering Woodley’s statements, Ben Askren should be able to get the job done against Maia.
We can safely say one thing that this fight is going to be very competitive on the ground. However, Maia would have a striking advantage against Askren even though he is not known as a striking specialist. However, both Maia and Askren needs a win in this fight. While Ben Askren is coming from the first loss of his MMA career, Demian Maia might be in his final run for one more title shot.