Demian Maia got the better of Ben Askren at UFC Fight Night 162 in Singapore, handing Askren his second consecutive loss whilst Maia is now on a 3 fight winning streak.
Maia was quick to establish his dominance on the feet, picking apart Ben with a solid right hand whilst managing his distance well. From the get-go Askren struggled with the exchanges as well as struggling to get the fight to the ground and when Askren finally got Maia to the mat, it was the Brazilian that looked far more comfortable transitioning.
Eventually the Brazilian showcased his infamous ground game, getting himself into top mount and working his way to Askren’s back where he laid Askren out unconscious with a tight choke.
After the devastating loss, i see only two options for Ben Askren on his road to redemption…
Robbie Lawler (Rematch)
Askren made his UFC debut against Robbie Lawler at UFC 235, winning controversially in the first round. Despite Lawler putting Askren in deep trouble, Askren was able to put Lawler in a bulldog choke. Referee Herb Dean assumed Lawler was out conscious and waved the fight off, however to everyone’s surprise Lawler seemed to be fine. It couldn’t have been a more controversial debut.
Lawler is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Colby Covington, a fight where he looked completely out of place. Lawler failed to pose any kind of threat to Covington, losing all five rounds. If Lawler is serious about his return to the welterweight division, he needs to put an end to his 3 fight losing streak and what better way to start than avenging a loss. The fact that Lawler nearly finished Askren at UFC 235 and that Askren is coming off two devastating losses, i would think gives Lawler confidence coming into this bout. A win against an 18-2 fighter would surely put Lawler in the top 10 welterweights and would be a beginning on his own road to redemption.
As for Ben Askren, he also is in desperate need of a win. You’ve got to think being laid out unconscious against two underdogs must have his confidence in disarray, furthemore many people don’t even acknowledge his only win in the UFC due to the controversy surrounding it. Askren needs a win to get his mojo back and like Robbie i’m sure he would fancy his chances in this match up whilst also being able to clear the controversy surrounding the first fight.
Loser of Gastelum Vs Till
The Co-Main at UFC 244 is generating a lot of buzz for all the right reasons, two fan favourite’s are going to war to establish a new contender for the welterweight belt. Like Askren, the loser of the fight will be on back to back losses eager to establish themselves as a contender for the belt
The one thing Askren is in desperate need of is credibility. His only win was controversial, his two losses were humiliating. Regardless of how UFC 244 goes, Gastelum has garnered huge amount of respect for his war with Stylebender whilst Till has also a huge deal of respect for his age and rise to the title shot. If Askren could get a win against the loser it would be a huge fast track to the upper rankings of the division.
Askren has already exchanged words with both fighters, brandishing gastelum a “fat boy” and Till an “idiot”. There in which lies the brilliance of this fight, that all 3 fighters can bring numbers in, trash talk and fight. There is no doubt that the winner of this potential fight would claim a valuable win in the hunt for redemption.