A battle between two of the most skilled grapplers in the UFC welterweight division is set to headline the UFC’s return to Singapore this fall, when Ben Askren takes on Demian Maia.
Askren vs. Maia will headline UFC Singapore, which takes place October 26 at Singapore Indoor Arena in Kallang, Singapore. UFC president Dana White confirmed the fight with reporters at a post-fight scrum following the Contender Series.
“Yes (that’s the headliner),” White said about Askren vs. Maia.
Askren and Maia previously agreed to the matchup on social media, and now it’s actually going down.
Askren (19-1, 1 NC) is coming off of a five-second KO loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239 which snapped a 20-fight unbeaten streak to open up his career. He opened up his UFC run with a submission win over Robbie Lawler which pushed him into the top-five of the weight class, but the Masvidal fight really set him back. With a win over Maia, though, Askren would remain a viable contender and could certainly go on another run at 170lbs.
Maia (27-9) is coming off of back-to-back wins over Anthony Rocco Martin and Lyman Good to bounce back from a three-fight losing skid. Maia is one of the all-time greatest submission artists in UFC history but at age 41 is on the downside of his career. Still, there’s no doubt he looked great in his last two fights and a win over Askren could push him back towards the top of the division and closer to getting another title shot.
This fight should feature some beautiful grappling exchanges between an amazing wrestler in Askren and a slick submission artist in Maia. There likely isn’t going to be too much trash talk, but the fight itself should be very intriguing.
Are you excited for the grappling between Ben Askren and Demian Maia?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/20/2019.