Ben Askren looks set to make his return to action in October when he will face Brazilian welterweight Demian Maia.
The fight has not been officially announced by the UFC but the former ONE FC champion took to Twitter earlier today to declare that the fight was indeed a “done deal” and that “Oct 26 we will find out who the best MMA grappler on planet earth is.”
Done deal! Oct 26 we will find out who the best MMA grappler on planet earth is. pic.twitter.com/mzExZDg7MK
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) August 20, 2019
Both men are known for their ridiculous grappling skills which makes this match-up so intriguing. Until Askren signed with the UFC following a highly-publicised trade deal with ONE FC that saw Demetrious Johnson go the other direction, Maia was widely considered the best grappler in the organisation.
The Brazilian embarked on a seven-fight win streak which came to an end when he was defeated by then welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 211. He suffered back-to-back defeats to Colby Covington and current champion Kumaru Usman before bouncing back with wins over Lyman Good and Anthony Rocco Martin.
Meanwhile, Askren has quickly become one of the most popular fighters in the UFC since his signing but has so far unimpressed with a controversial stoppage win over Robbie Lawler in his debut was followed up by being dramatically knocked out in just five seconds against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 in July. The flying-knee knockout handed Askren his first-ever loss following a 19-fight win streak.
The fight in October marks the sixth UFC main-event slot for two-time title challenger Maia who sits second behind Donald Cerrone in the UFC all-time wins list with 21 victories inside the Octagon.
The UFC on ESPN+ 20 card is set for October 26, in the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore