Ben Askren is looking to return to the win column in the main event of UFC Singapore when he takes on Demian Maia.
Askren, of course, is coming off of a five-second flying knee knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239. The loss was his first as a pro and sent him down the welterweight rankings and out of the title conversation. Yet, ‘Funky’ believes a win over Maia should earn him a top-ranked opponent.
“I don’t think one [victory earns a title shot], I think a win against Maia puts me in a position to call out someone very highly ranked,” Askren said to theScore. “Then if I win that fight then that would put me in position to fight for a title. That’s kind of how I feel about it.”
However, beating Demain Maia will no doubt be a tough task given how good of a grappler the Brazilian is. Ben Askren knows he has to be wary of the submission so he says his takedowns have to be efficient.
“For Demian, it’s like, I can’t dive in there on shit takedowns and then figure out how to get on top of him and beat him up,” he said. “I need to set my takedowns up really well, I need to execute on them, and end up in a good position. The intellectual chess of that has been fun preparing for it.”
If Ben Askren can do all that, he is confident he will get his hand raised and start to build off of it and climb the welterweight rankings again. There, he believes he could just be one or two wins away from fighting for the welterweight title that he was so close to before the knockout loss to Masvidal.
Do you agree with Ben Askren that a win over Demian Maia will get him a top-ranked opponent? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/8/2019.